During its meeting at the House of Representatives, members of the Malta-Japan Parliamentary Friendship Group discussed the need for a double taxation treaty between the two countries, among other matters, according to a press statement by the government’s Department of Information (DOI). The participants of the meeting also discussed enhanced trade possibilities spurred by EPA.
The group discussed issues of mutual interest for both countries and initiatives necessary to enhance bilateral relations, such as tourism, initiatives related to innovation and the possible twinning between local councils.
Opportunities for engagement and fellowships for Japanese pharmacists with the Malta Medicines Authority were also discussed.
Agreeing that Japan and Malta have a “maritime destiny” the delegation established that sea pollution and the need to address the realities that seas suffer from the excessive presence of waste plastic are issues to be tackled of mutual interest.
EPA to bolster trade
In light of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the European Union and Japan coming into effect on 1 February 2019, the members referred to the enhanced possibilities of more trade and economic activity, according to the DOI release, however, further details are not disclosed.
The EPA between the European Union and Japan removes the vast majority of the €1b of duties paid annually by EU companies exporting to Japan, according to a press statement issued by the European Commission on 31 January, before the agreement came into force.
As a result of the agreement, the EC said it expects annual trade between the European Union and Japan to increase by nearly €36b once the agreement is implemented in full.
“Europe and Japan are sending a message to the world about the future of open and fair trade. We are opening a new marketplace home to 635 million people and almost a third of the world’s Gross Domestic Product, bringing the people of Europe and Japan closer together than ever before,” President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said upon the announcement of EPA.
“This agreement has it all: it scraps tariffs and contributes to the global rulebook, whilst at the same time demonstrating to the world that we both remain convinced by the benefits of open trade. As of 1 February, European companies will benefit from removed tariffs and simplified customs procedures,” said Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Trade.
The following video was originally posted by the European Commission to explain the EPA in detail.