The Irish Whiskey Association (IWA) has called on members of the European Parliament to ratify the EU-Japan free trade agreement, knows as the Economic Partnership Agreement, when the matter comes before the parliament for a vote on Wednesday December 12.
The Economic Partnership Agreement, signed on July 17, 2018, creates a trade zone of 600 million people, and covers a third of global GDP and about 40% of global trade. The agreement represents the largest bilateral trade deal ever done by the EU and will enter into force on February 1, 2019, once the European Parliament and EU Council formally ratifies it.
The Economic Partnership Agreement will introduce protection of the Irish whiskey geographic indication in Japan for the first time. This will mean that only whiskey produced on the island of Ireland, in accordance with the approved Technical File, can be labelled and marketed as Irish whiskey in Japan.
"Significant Future Growth Potential"
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Head of the Irish Whiskey Association, William Lavelle, stated, "Historically, sales of Irish whiskey in Asia and the Far East have been low. However, Japan represents the largest market for Irish whiskey in Asia and is among one of the Asian markets identified by the Irish Whiskey Association as offering significant future growth potential. Already, last year, sales of Irish whiskey grew by 15.6% in Japan.
"Protecting the name of Irish whiskey and the high standards which are the hallmark of Irish whiskey is critical to support future export growth. The EU-Japan agreement will extend protection to Irish whiskey in Japan for the first time. and we would call on MEPs to ratify this deal on Wednesday."
© 2018 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.