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Lufthansa Cargo to gain from EU-Japan deal?

BRUSSELS: July 06, 2017. On the eve of the G20 summit, the EU and Japan have sent a signal to protectionists by agreeing in principle to a deal covering 40 percent of global trade.

The EU said the agreement will remove almost all €1 billion in annual Custom duties and could lead to a 180 percent rise in EU processed food exports and a 20 percent rise in chemical exports.

The current value of annual EU exports to Japan is €58 billion in goods and €28 billion in services. The new deal is expected to provide opportunities for EU companies to increase exports of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, agri-food, motor vehicles, transport equipment - and with a post-Brexit Scotland subject to tariffs - Irish whiskey.

LH Cargo ANACommenting on the historic accord, European Council president Donald Tusk said: "Although some are saying that the time of isolationism and disintegration is coming again, we are demonstrating that this is not the case. That the world really doesn't need to go a hundred years back in time.

"In the context of the discussion about Brexit, we have heard statements claiming that it isn't worth being in the European Union, as it is easier to do global trade outside of the EU. Today we have shown that this is not true. The EU is more and more engaged globally. And ahead of the EU are negotiations with Mercosur countries, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia and others," he added.

One beneficiary of the expected increase in two-way trade is Lufthansa Cargo and ANA Cargo. In 2014 the two companies signed a joint venture covering the Japan-Europe market with an initial focus on flights from Japan to Europe.

By June the following year, "the cooperation has paid off even within the first few months", declared Akira Okada, CEO of ANA Cargo. "Starting to send consignments from Europe to Japan is an important milestone to provide an attractive service to an extended circle of customers."

With "shared roof" facilities Europe and Japan, "Our customers save valuable time thanks to the large numbers of additional direct connections and rapid transit times. Demand has been consistently high since the partnership began," reported Lufthansa Cargo chairman and CEO Peter Gerber back in mid-2015.

In December of that year the two airlines added connected destinations in Japan including Fukuoka and Sapporo. "Thanks to the joint venture we can connect the wide European network of Lufthansa Cargo with the direct connections of both partners to Japan and the continental de-feeder flights of ANA," said Carsten Wirths, then Area manager Europe and Africa for Lufthansa Cargo and now managing director of Lufthansa CityLine.

"Fukuoka and its region are important centres for the steel and automotive industries, as well as for semiconductor technology, electronics, environmental and biotechnology", added Yutaka Terao, Project manager Cooperations, ANA Cargo. "These are sectors which substantially profit from airfreight."

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