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EU JAPAN – Economic partnership agreement

EU JAPAN economic partnership agreement

Author : Lorenzo Giusepponi

Translated by : Matteo Aristei

January 2018

Japan and Europe will be closer and there will be greater opportunities for the companies of both countries about their respective export markets . On the 7th December, the president of EU Commission Jean -Claude Juncker and the Japanese premier Shinzo Abe have announced the negotiation ‘ s finalisation for a free trade agreement that has begun in 2013, and it will cover the 30 % of the world GDP and a block of 600 million people, underlining the common willingness to send to the entire world a strong message in favour of free trade and against protectionism . Now a complex procedure for the official signature will be opened, it is expected for the next summer and it concerns the debate of the remaining technical questions until the achieving of a final text . Then, the agreement has to be approved by both European Parliament and parliaments of each Member States . Both parts foresee that the agreement will enter into force at the beginning of 2019 .

General framework

The EU companies export already to japan goods for over 58 billions euros and services for 28 billions . Furthermore, Japan is the fourth biggest market for the agricultural exportation of EU, and they are worth 20 times higher than the Japanese exportation in the Union . However, European companies are facing obstacles in trade when they export in Japan .
With the EU JAPAN Economic Partnership Agreement, farming communities and producers of food and drink will access easier to the Japanese market, with higher possibilities to sell their products to 127 millions Japanese consumer .

Food sector

Japanese consumer appreciate high quality european products such as wine, cheese, chocolate, pigmeat and pasta, but Japan requires high customs duties on these products and other european food and drink : 30 – 40 % on cheese, 38,5 % on pigmeat, 15 % on wine, until the 24 % on pasta and 30 % on chocolate . Thanks to this agreement, Japan will remove customs duties more than the 90 % of agricultural exportation of EU from the first day and will acknowledge 205 geographical indications that are chosen by Member States for their real and potential exportation value in the Japanese market . As a result, only products with such status can be sold in Japan . This will make illegal to sell imitation products and will ensure to japanese consumers that they are buying a real european product .

Food security

Japanese rules on food security, as well as the european ones, are between the most demanding in the world . For example, Japan doesn’t allow the use of growth hormone in the production of bovine meat, and the legislation that regulates GMO is very important for japan consumers . Like for other Union ’ s economic agreements, the EU JAPAN agreement won’t certainly prejudice the european level of protection in matter such as food security . All the imports of products of animal origin in the EU from Japan will continue , in addition to they must be accompanied by a veterinary certificate, as is the case today .


Japan is the fourth leading economy in the world and is the second biggest trade partner of EU in Asian after China . However for Europe, Japan is only the seventh exportation market. Experts foresee that the facilities of exportation in Japan will lead to benefits for EU companies which produce and trade agri – food products as well as electrical machinery, pharmaceutical products, medical devices, means of transport, textile products and clothing . In fact, european exportation of transformed food in Japan could increase of 180 %, that is equal to an increasing of sales until 10 billions of euro . In addition, since Japan has accepted to adapt rules related to car to the international rules used by EU, for car manufacturers in EU will be easier sell their vehicles in Japan . Furthermore, since that every billion euro of exportation from Eu to japan corresponds to 14.000 job in Europe, the more Europe exports, the more it will be possible create and protect employments .


It is estimated that a developed economy like the EU one or the Japan one, the purchase of goods and services from the State represent over the 15 % of the total economy . It is a big market, full of trade opportunities . Thanks to the EU JAPAN agreement, EU will obtain a better access to japanese calls of tender in terms of central,regional and local administration . One of the EU’s priority in negotiations was to ensure a higher access to the japanese market of rail infrastructure . Japan has partly accepted and has decided to open contracts to EU tenderers for hospitals, academic institutions and energy distribution as well as grant to EU suppliers a not discriminatory access to the contracts market of 48 cities of about 300.000 people which represent the 15% of the country’s population . For its part, EU has partially accepted to open its market of rail plants for public transport in the city and has granted to Japan a better access to contracts which are organised by municipality .

Environmental protection

EU undertakes to ensure that its trade policy favours sustainable development .
The EU JAPAN economic partnership agreement is no exception . Moreover, EU and Japan undertake to : protect and handle natural resources in a sustainable way, address biodiversity problems ( also fighting illegal logging ) and practice a sustainable fishing .

Article sources for EU JAPAN :

- ec.europa.eu
- www.ilsole24ore.com
- video

Paris agreement

Paris agreement

Accordo di Parigi sui cambiamenti climatici

“ Paris agreement : the fate of climate change ”

Author : Giulia Turchetti
Translated by : Matteo Aristei
December 2017

In the twenty-first Paris climate conference ( COP21 ) on December 2015, as many as 195 countries have ratified the first worldwide agreement and it is binding in legal terms of “ Paris agreement ” climate .

“ Paris agreement ” means a global agreement on climate changes, with the aim of creating an action plan in order to limit global warming below 2 ° C . The conclusion of this agreement comes from the need to find a remedy for climate change : an important global issue with possible repercussions for everyone . Due to the small participation on the Kyoto Protocol and due to the lack of an agreement in Copenhagen in 2009, European Union contributed with the realization of a large coalition of developed and developing Countries in order to achieve prestigious purposes . This determined clearly the positive outcome of the Paris conference .

The governments of the signatory countries have therefore decided to meet every five years in order to determine more ambitious purposes on the basis of scientific knowledge, to inform the other Member States and the public opinion about what they are doing in order to achieve their fixed purposes, and to report the progress made through a system based on transparency and responsibility .

In Germany, Bonn as well, was held on last November the United Nations World Conference on Climate, or simpler known as Cop 23 : this is the summit of commitments given at the Cop21 in Paris and they have to keep them as civic commitment in the future . This is a commitment that is urgently needed : scientist, in fact, talk about how World is in its warmest period in the history of human civilization and that the main cause of this phenomenon is the man itself .

Unfortunately, the time remaining is little and it is essential to take the steps of a fast and ambitious climatic revolution, realizing the vision of Paris, making it real .

The main purpose of the Paris Agreement is to hold global warming effects, limiting harmful consequences that come from climatic change created by the man, as from 2020 . In this respect, industrialized countries will contribute to the allocation of an annual fund “ Green Climate Fund ” of 100 billion for the transfer of clean technologies in the Countries that need a support in order to start their own green economy .

Despite United States are the main promoter of this important aim, because they are classifiable between the major polluters and they are responsible of the climatic change, today they could fleeing the scene . With a new administration, led by Donald Trump, United States withdraw in their isolationism because the president itself has repeatedly said that the Paris agreement would be an unbalanced agreement, which undermines American’s interest and it constitutes an obstacle to the realization of making “ America great again ”. Together with this withdrawal, there is also the disappearance of an entire section on the climate change from the site of the White House, and it was replaced by an another section on an energetic plan for America . The intention of Trump is to eliminate policies like the “ Climate Action Plan ”, because in Trump’s opinion they are harmful and useless . The “ Climate Action Plan ” is the plan for the emission reduction and it was signed by his predecessor Obama .

However, it’s not possible to exit in a unilateral and linear way from the Paris agreement . In fact, it contains room of three years, four in all. When this period will be spent, the end of the Trump’s mandate will come . The position of United States about climatic change could therefore be negotiated another time and it won’t be definitive, also because the hypothetical destruction of the Paris agreement means the destruction of the world itself .


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Trump piano economico per gli Stati Uniti d America

Author: Lorenzo Giusepponi
December 2017

After a long and bitter campaign for the US presidency, Donald Trump has triumphed over Hillary Clinton . The Republican is now the 45 th American President and his first term is from 2017 to 2021 . His economic plan focuses on ” making America great again .” Trump entered the White House flanked by Republican majorities in both houses of Congress, but his prior clashes with Republican leaders, particularly with House Speaker Paul Ryan, suggest that he may have trouble passing his entire legislative agenda . Democrats, meanwhile, may act to block some of his proposals, despite their Congressional disadvantage . On the one hand, for Trump’s supporters he represents a chance to shake up a system that many Americans feel has increased inequality and squeezed living standards, on the other, for less complacent investors, there are worries Trump’s anti-globalization mantra will spread protectionism around the world, put up trade barriers and curb global economic growth .

Reactions after the news of his victory

Trump was not always clear and consistent about his policies, and when he was, they were often unorthodox enough to have unpredictable consequences . This resulting uncertainty helps explain the market reaction to his win in the early morning of November 9, 2016 . The Dow Johns, S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes, as well as the European, Japanese and Chinese stock markets, began to fall . Then, except in the case of the Mexican peso, which continued to slump against the dollar, these initial reactions reversed themselves . Here are then, Trump’s plans in the major fields of the economy .


During the third televised debate, Trump promised to bring GDP from 1 % up to 4 % and even higher, to 6 % annually . Trump believes in supply-side economics, that is the theory that says increased production drives economic growth . Supply – side fiscal policy focuses on businesses . Its tools are tax cuts and deregulation. Companies that benefit from these policies hire more workers . The resultant job growth creates more demand which further boosts growth . But Arthur Laffer, the originator of that theory, says tax rates must be higher than they are today for the strategy to work . Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is less gung – ho, telling Congress that the administration’s target is 3 % or higher . The Tax Foundation is more sanguine about Trump’s prospects . The think tank projected in September that his policies would increase GDP by 6.9 % to 8.2 % over the long term .


The Peterson Institute for International Economics ( PIIE ) wrote in September 2016 that it expects Trump’s policies, if implemented, to set off ” a trade war that would plunge the US economy into recession and cost more than 4 million private sector American jobs .” Moody’s is only slightly less pessimistic, arguing that Trump’s policies would result in 3.5 million fewer jobs after four years, with unemployment rising to perhaps 7 % from its current level of 4.9 % . Trump said he wanted to create jobs by eliminating outsourcing and bringing jobs back from Japan, China and Mexico . The problem really exists . The U.S. lost 34 percent of its manufacturing jobs between 1998 and 2010. Many were outsourced by U.S. companies to save money . Others were eliminated by new technology, including robotics, artificial intelligence and bio-engineering . Government – sponsored training for these specialties might create more jobs for U.S. workers than would Trump’s trade war .


Here again, Trump has played into frustrations among many Americans over their sense of financial insecurity, inequality and squeezed incomes . Trump, who has faced fierce criticism for appearing to escape paying income tax himself for almost two decades, promised tax cuts for all income groups . He has also said he would “ ensure the rich pay their fair share ”. But analysis by the Tax Foundation has found Trump’s tax plan would disproportionately help the richest Americans, saving them millions . On December 17 House and Senate Republicans released the text of a bill to overhaul the federal tax code, with final votes expected the following week . Among the many things, the bill would retain the current structure of seven individual income tax brackets, but in most cases it would lower the rates . It would end the individual mandate, a provision of the Obamacare that provides tax penalties for individuals who do not obtain health insurance coverage, in 2019 . Also, it would change the measure of inflation and set the corporate tax rate at 21 % .


On his campaign site Trump promised to ” negotiate fair trade deals that create American jobs, increase American wages, and reduce America’s trade deficit, ” asserting that decades of free-trade policies were responsible for the collapse of the American manufacturing industry .
• Mexico and NAFTA : Mexico has come in for particular criticism ; Trump repeatedly threatened to slap 35 % tariffs on cars imported from Mexico . At $ 74 billion, vehicles were the largest category of imports from Mexico in 2015, according to the U.S. Trade Representative’s website . The U.S. had a $ 67.5 billion trade deficit with Mexico in goods in 2015, but a $ 9.6 billion surplus in services . Trump has also singled out the North American Free Trade Agreement ( NAFTA ), which he called the ” single worst trade deal ever approved in this country “. Trump is expected to call for NAFTA to be renegotiated or to withdraw from it altogether ; he appears to have authority to pull out of the agreement by giving six months’ notice, according to article 2205 of the treaty . Some experts believe he would need Congress’ support, however .
• Trans – Pacific Partnership : The Trans – Pacific Partnership ( TPP ), a trade agreement that the U.S. signed but did not come up for a ratification vote in Congress, would have reduced trade barriers among 12 Pacific Rim nations . The pact’s prospects were already dim before Trump’s election made it a dead letter . On January, Trump signed an order to withdraw from further negotiations on the deal, promising to replace it with a series of bilateral agreements .
• China : The president has also criticized China, claiming that it suppresses the value of its currency, the yuan, in order to gain an export advantage . While China maintained a dollar peg that held the yuan’s value down from 2008 to 2010, the evidence now suggests the government is intervening to lift, rather than lower, the yuan’s value . The country’s foreign currency reserves fell from nearly $ 4 trillion in March 2014 to just over $ 3.1 trillion in October . Even so, Trump promises to declare China a currency manipulator and impose tariffs of up to 45 % on its exports .


Trump has promised to dramatically increase infrastructure investment . His most notable project is the wall he has promised to build along the border with Mexico. He insists that Mexico will reimburse the U.S. for the cost of the wall, which he has estimated at $ 5 billion to $ 10 billion . Independent estimates and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell have put the cost as high as $ 25 billion . Beyond the border wall, Trump has made early moves to encourage other infrastructure projects such as improvements to the electrical grid and telecommunications systems, as well as repairs and upgrades to highways, bridges, ports, airports and pipelines .


Trump has promised to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obama care . About 20 million people have insurance thanks to the ACA but the scheme has struggled to run efficiently because it relies on competition between insurers to provide affordable coverage, and that competition has dwindled. In the early days of Trump’s administration, there was little clarity about what would replace Obamacare . Trump had proposed measures during the campaign such as funding Medicaid, allowing insurers to sell across state lines, importing drugs, allowing patients to deduct insurance premiums from their tax returns and allowing them to shop around for the most cost – effective treatments .


Trump made immigration a centerpiece of his campaign from the time he announced his candidacy in June 2015 . He proposed changing federal law to prevent those born in the U.S. to undocumented parents from automatically gaining citizenship . He wants immigrants to be selected on the basis of “ their likelihood of success in the US and their ability to be financially self – sufficient ”. After the expiration of the 120 – day travel ban, which prevented all immigrants from 7 Muslim majority countries from entering to the US, Trump is to allow them to enter again, with stricter rules for applicants from 11 ” high risk ” nations . Applicants will be restricted for a 90 – day review period . The Department of Homeland Security will collect more biographical data such as the names of family members and places of employment . Trump also promised to deport the 2 million to 3 million immigrants in the United States illegally who have criminal records and asked Congress to withhold federal funds from ” sanctuary cities . ”

National Debt

Trump repeatedly criticized the growth of the national debt – which stands at nearly $ 20 trillion as of January 30 . Independent analyses, on the other hand, see Trump’s plan to lower taxes and boost spending on infrastructure and defense as adding trillions to the debt .


Donald Trump has repeatedly called climate change a ” hoax “. In May, Trump said he would renegotiate last year’s Paris Agreement, which saw 195 states pledge to limit average global temperature rises to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre – industrial levels . The United States is responsible for 20 percent of the world’s carbon emissions . It would be difficult for the other signatories of the Paris Agreement to reach their goal without U.S. participation . Trump said he wanted to negotiate a better deal, but leaders from Germany, France and Italy said the accord is non – negotiable . China and India joined the other leaders in stating they remain committed to the accord . It will take four years to formally withdraw . That means it will become an issue in the next presidential election .

Trump’s plan for the first hundred days included a promise to ” cancel billions in payments to U.N. climate change programs and use the money to fix America’s water and environmental infrastructure . ” On October 2017, the Trump administration announced it would repeal the Clean Power Plan which was designed to lower carbon emissions by 2030 to 32 % below 2005 levels . The repeal would withdraw Obama – era limits on carbon emissions at U.S. power plants . That was part of Trump’s campaign promise to revive the coal industry while remaining committed to clean coal technology . Trump claimed this would raise wages by $ 30 billion over seven years . The chief of the EPA, Scott Pruitt has recently signed a measure to repeal the act, but the proposal will now have to go through a formal public-comment period before being finalized, a process that could take months . Trump also pledged to allow more drilling on federal lands of shale oil and natural gas and there are also worries he will curb investment into renewable energy sources .

Monetary policy

This is not strictly an area for the government, given interest rates are set by the US central bank, the Federal Reserve, widely referred to as the Fed. But there were worries during the presidential race that a win for Trump would undermine its independence . The president – elect has previously accused the Fed of keeping borrowing costs low to help president Obama and has said the central bank’s policies have created a “ false economy ” . In an interview with Fortune magazine, Trump also said he “ absolutely ” backed efforts to diminish the Fed’s power . The Fed has a Congressional mandate to generate maximum employment ( 4.5 % to 5 % unemployment ) and steady prices ( annual core PCE inflation of 2 % ) . Aside from those requirements, however, it is independent, meaning it does not have to seek approval from any branch of government to change monetary policy . Given Trump’s accusations that the Fed is acting politically, some have expressed the worry that Trump will attempt to curtail monetary policy independence, as several past presidents have done .

To date we can see a disconnect between the performance of financial markets and the real. While stock markets continue to reach new highs, the US economy grew at an average rate of just 2 % in the first half of 2017 – slower growth than under President Obama . For the first three months of 2017, 533,000 people have found jobs but that is the lowest March quarter total since 2011. Inflation is low, and corporate profits are soaring . High market valuations that are fuelled by liquidity and irrational exuberance do not reflect economic realities .


- www.investopedia.com
- www.thebalance.com
- www.theguardian.com
- www.fortune.com
- www.forbes.com
- www.bbc.com
- www.nytimes.com

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From the Euro-Mediterranean partnership to the ENP



Writer: Elisa Mariani

Translated by: Giulia Turchetti

In November ’95 the Euro-Mediterranean partnership was established with the Barcelona Declaration. The Euro-Mediterranean partnership stands for a global agreement which involves still today the EU and the Southern Mediterranean countries. The aim: granting to this area political and economic welfare. This can be achievable thanks to useful discussions and collaboration between the parts involved.

Israel, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Malta, Morocco, Cyprus, Jordan, Palestine, Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt are the Southern Mediterranean countries, also well-known as Mediterranean Non-member Countries (MNCs), that joined the Euro-Mediterranean partnership. Since Libya and Mauretania are members of the Arab Maghreb Union ( AMU ) together with Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria, have been invited joining the Euro-Mediterranean partnership too. Now Libya holds the observer status.

From a political viewpoint the Euro-Mediterranean association agreements and the discussions between the parties involved have had an important role. Actually, they enabled to create a common criteria for making respectable aspects such as the rule of law and democratic principles, fundamental freedoms, human rights and fight against terrorism as well as the abolishment of mass destruction weapons.

Within the socio-cultural sector the promotion of interreligious dialogue, the fight against illegal migration have been the fields of major innovation, as well as the one concerning the use of mass media as means of intercultural communication and education. This latter is aimed at the respect of different cultural identities.

The economic and trade partnership is another important element to be dealt with. Its purpose is to create a free trade area (FTA) in the Mediterranean zone, in order to abolish trade obstacles and customs barriers. These latter prevent the free movement of goods, agricultural products and services exchange. According to the estimates of the Institut de la Méditerranée, the maritime traffic will increase of about 16 % compared to the regular trend thanks to the FTA. The Euro-Mediterranean partnership sets the ambitious goal of the permanent and sustainable development of the MNCs. Also the EU supports this goal for the growth of the private sector and investments, new technologies and the market economy. It sustains the fight against poverty in the countries involved too.

Moreover with the Barcelona Declaration the EU has pledged for allocating funds in favor of the MNCs through the support of the European Investment Bank.

Promoting small and medium-sized companies, the MNCs regions co-partnership, the abolishment of obstacles against foreign direct investments by MNCs, the environmental sustainability and the woman key-role in economy matters are some other steps worth to be mentioned.

Nevertheless the FTA was thought to be started and completed by 2010. Instead few problems especially due to inactivity and lack of pragmatism and implementation of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership purposes downshifted the achievement of the previous mentioned goals. In 2002 the EU has established the FEMIP, Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership, in order to give further impetus to what had been promised by the Barcelona Declaration in 1995. In so doing small and medium-sized companies projects can be funded, as well as those of tourism-related companies or of infrastructure in MNCs, that is to say more in general all kinds of projects which focus on social and economic development of the Southern Mediterranean countries. As a consequence of the EU enlargement the Union itself gave birth to the ENP in 2004, which saw the approval of its correlated Action Plans with Israel, Palestine, Tunisia and Morocco in 2005. In 2007 Egypt and Lebanon signed the Action Plans.

In addition to this, the Union for Mediterranean was created always with the same purpose in 2008. One of the novelties that it has delivered concerns the birth of the working Group over the Euro-Mediterranean industrial cooperation. Actually, it involves corporations, associations of enterprise, international bodies and EU institutions. The aim: to enact practical measures suitable for realising what each two years during the meeting between the EU delegates and Industry Ministers of the MNCs is agreed.

In the last few years the relations between the EU and MNCs have changed. The latest geopolitical developments, in part caused by several protests that broke out in the MNCs, have contributed to this.

Since 2012 the negotiations about a possible action plan in Algeria have been started. These latter concern safety, anti-corruption measures and energy of which Algeria is one of the main producers.

The EU has contributed to the foundation of a solid State based on the inclusion principle in Libya, after the end of Gaddafi’s regime and its following Civil war. The EU is succeeding in so doing through the support secured by the UN to the diplomatic action, the implementation of a remit about improving border control in 2013, as well as the availability of allocating funds of the Neighborhood Instrument.

The relation with Tunisia has benefitted from the effects of the Arab Spring. Actually, the EU has supported both economically and politically the democratization process after the Jasmine Revolution in 2011. This process led to a new Constitution and the success of parliamentary and presidential elections in 2014. As a consequence of such events the EU and Tunisia have started a privileged partnership which aims at making the political and economic collaboration between them stronger, through the establishment of the Mobility partnership in March 2014 and the negotiations concerning a global FTA started in 2015.

Egypt has had a different destiny. It was struck by the revolution that dates back to the Arab Springs period in 2011, and it did not have political stability enough in order to meet the requirements set by the EU, which would have supported the achievement of reforms focused on the welfare of Egypt from all viewpoints.

Finally within the ENP sector Morocco has enjoyed the advanced status since 2008, whose purpose is to improve the cooperation between the parts with a major support by the EU as far as the implementation of reforms in policy and economy matters of the country is concerned. The EU-Morocco collaboration gave birth to the Action Plan (ENP) and to the Mobility partnership in 2013. It has been the very first collaboration within the Mediterranean area at starting negotiations concerning the facilitation of issuance of visas and the Free Trade agreement.


- europarl.europa.eu
- lenius.it
- eur-lex.europa.eu
- capitanata2020.eu
- asbl.unioncamere.net