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COTANCE celebrates EU-Japan agreement

A new Economic Partnership Agreement between the European Union and Japan came into force on February 1.

In a statement welcoming the new arrangement, the European Commission said it constituted “the largest open trade zone in the world” for businesses from both territories to operate in and for consumers from both to shop in.

“We are opening a new marketplace, home to 635 million people and almost a third of the world’s gross domestic product,” the European Commission said, “bringing the people of Europe and Japan closer together than ever before.”

In response to this, the secretary general of COTANCE, the leather industry’s representative body in the European Union, Gustavo González-Quijano, said the deal represents “a real opportunity” for European manufacturers of leather and of leather footwear. He added that, in due course, the new agreement will bring about the “the largest market for these goods [leather and leather footwear] in the developed world”.

He said COTANCE looked forward to working together with Japanese colleagues on “issues of common concern”. Examples he gave included product labelling, leather authenticity, promoting leather to young consumers in particular, innovation, sustainability and leather’s ability to contribute to circular economies.







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