The Economic Partnership Agreement, signed on 17th July this year, creates a trade zone of 600 million people and covers a third of global GDP and about 40% of global trade and represents the largest bilateral trade deal ever agreed by the EU. If ratified by the European Parliament and EU Council, it and will enter into force on 1st February 2019.
The Agreement will introduce protection of the Irish whiskey Geographic Indication in Japan for the first time and 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.
“Historically, sales of Irish whiskey in Asia and the Far East have been low,” stated IWA Head William Lavelle in calling on MEPs to ratify the deal today, “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 all-island representative trade association of the Irish whiskey industry forms part of the Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland and Ibec, Ireland’s business representative organisation.