Swiss-Japan free trade deal to begin in Sept

30th July 2009, Comments 0 comments

The agreement will remove tariffs on a wide range of goods and services beginning 1 September.

Geneva -- A free trade deal between Japan and Switzerland, Tokyo's first with a European country, will come into force on 1 September, Swiss authorities said Wednesday.

Under the agreement with Switzerland signed in 2008, 99 percent of trade will be tariff-free within a decade.

The two countries officially exchanged diplomatic notes on Wednesday signalling approval of the agreement, the Swiss economy ministry said in a statement.

The deal will remove tariffs on a wide range of goods and services including industrial items and most agricultural products.

It also eases issues such as intellectual property rights, investment and labour flows, and deregulation in electronic commerce.

Swiss exports to Japan reached CHF 7.1 billion (EUR 4.7 billion, USD 6.6 billion) in 2008, while Japanese imports were valued at CHF 4.1 billion, according to official data.

Swiss exporters should save about CHF 100 million a year in duties, the ministry added.

It described the free trade and economic partnership arrangement with Japan as the "most important free trade agreement concluded by Switzerland" since a 1972 deal with the European Union, the Alpine nation's largest trading partner.

AFP / Expatica

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