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Comment l'Union européenne et l'Asie travaillent-elles ensemble? (document anglais)

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How European Union and Asia are working with each other?

The European Union is an economic and political union of 28 member states. The EU has developed a single market through a standardized system of laws that apply in all member states. Within the Schengen Area EU, policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services, and capital. Four non-members of the European Union, Norway , Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland , participate in the Schengen Area. With a combined population of over 500 million habitants, or 7.3% of the world population, the EU in 2012 generated a nominal gross domestic product (GDP) of 16.584 trillion US dollars, constituting approximately 23% of global nominal GDP which is the largest nominal GDP in the world. The single currency, the euro, introduced in 2000, gave additional power the European Union and has facilitating agreements between the EU and others partners.

The goal of this report is to know how EU and Asia are working with each other? To answer this question, we are going to further details in the relationships between EU and its two key partners in Asia: Japan & China.

These collaborations between these two countries are very important for European Union. Indeed, China is the second partner of the European Union with 12.5 % of the world trade (430,800 million euros) after the United States. Japan is the seventh partner of EU with 3, 4 % of the world (120,300 million euros). So it is important to have good relations with these two countries.

To answer the question, we start with a brief history of Japan and China.

Brief history

China and Japan have had a complex history. In the next section, the events have had a significant impact will be explained.

After several years of war, Japan get out of the Second World War very weak, especially after the two nuclear bombs sent by the Americans 1945. Japan surrenders August 14, 1945. At the end of the WW2, Americans tried to dismantle the biggest Japanese companies. These companies, named the “zaibatsu”, like Mitsubishi or Nissan, were the suppliers of the Japanese army during the war. But in order to rebuild the country, and increase a potential market for their companies, Americans let these zaibatsu rebuild japan.

Thanks to these companies, Japan is developed enough to join OECD the 26 April 1964, only 20 years after the war.

Why is it a benefit for japan to be an OECD member?

The goals of OECD are to develop policies that improve the economic and social well-being of membership. The OECD permits discussions between governments to work, share experiences and find solutions to common problem.

In 1991, Japan signed the « joint declaration ». Japan concluded this agreement with European Union, as a political entity.

Thanks to this treaty, European Community and Japan decided to inform and consult each other on major international issues. Both Parties have decided to strengthen their mechanisms for consultation and substantial co-operation on global and bilateral issues; especially they have decided to hold annual consultations in Europe or in Japan between, on the one hand, the President of the European Council and the President of the Commission and, on the other, the Japanese Prime Minister.

That agreement is a major step for the cooperation between these two partners.

On the first January, Japan became a member of WTO. This participation allows facilitating trade between European and Japanese companies.


Relation between EU and Japan

There are few agreements between EU and Japan but four of these are important.

On 1 January 2002, The EU-Japan Mutual Recognition Agreement was signed. It facilitates trade in industrial products. More precisely, this agreement allows for conformity 4 kind of product: telecommunication and radio equipment, electrical products, manufacturing practices for pharmaceutical and laboratory practices for chemicals.

On June 2003, the European Union Council has adopted the Agreement on Co-operation on Anti-competitive Activities. The goal of this agreement is to facilitate trade and investment between the EU and Japan.

On 30 November 2009, the Science and Technology Agreement was signed in Brussels between the EU and Japan. The expectations of this agreement are to encourage further science and technology collaboration between the EU and Japan.

On 30 January 2008, the Agreement on Co-operation and Mutual Administrative Assistance (CCMAA) between the EU and Japan was signed. It entered into force on 1 February 2008. The goal of this agreement is to provide a legal framework to have easier trade for reliable traders and to have a supply chain more secure. Then, the aim of this agreement is to try to fight against fraud and to have a better cooperation about the protection of intellectual property rights.

A new treaty is being prepared between the European Union and Japan since March 2013. It's a free trade agreement. Many meetings are planned in 2014 to negotiate about non-tariffs barriers, the opening up of public procurement for Japan's railways and urban transport market.

Some fact about Japan

In Asia, Japan is the EU’s second biggest trading partners after China. Trade between EU and Japan represent approximately a third of world GDP. Japan remains a major trade partner for the EU and Europe is a very important market for Japan. Japan is also a major investor in the EU.

Japan imports to EU principally Imports from Japan to the EU are dominated by machinery and transport equipment and chemical products. Exports from to Japan are dominated by machinery and transport equipment, chemical products and agricultural products.

In the first table, we can see that Japan, since 2010 is importing more goods from EU than from USA.

There is a bigger gap between importations and exportation between japan and USA, than between Japan and EU.

For trade in goods, it’s important to highlight that, the balance was always negative but the last data from august tell us that EU has now a trade in goods with a positive balance with japan. Contrary to goods, the balance for trade in services with Japan is always positive.



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