Japan, Mexico Free Trade Agreement in Effect

May 1, 2005
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The free trade agreement between Japan and Mexico was implemented on April 1, along with the removal of the 25.2 yen-per-liter tariff on tequila imports from Mexico.

Exports of tequila to the Japanese market "will immediately increase to 30 percent more than we export now and will be double in three years," said Eduardo Orendain, president of the National Chamber of the Tequila Industry.

Orendain said that Japan will quickly become one of the world's five largest importers of tequila. Japan is currently number 7, after the United States, Germany, Greece, England, Canada and Italy.

According to the Foreign Ministry, Japan imported some 680 million yen worth of tequila in 2003, compared with 380 million yen worth in 2002.

Orendain feels "100 percent positive" about the future of tequila in the Japanese market. "Why not with Japan?" Orendain asked, citing the FTA with the European Union that Mexico signed in 1997, which expanded exports of tequila to the EU by 50 percent.

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