by Gabrielė Vilemo Gotkovič
In 2013, the European Union and Japan started negotiations on an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). Despite its name, the treaty is believed to create more than just new economic opportunities.
Even before its entry into force, it has sent a powerful political message to the troubled international community. It signals that the world's first and fifth largest economies, which account for nearly a third of the global GDP and cover more than 600m people, are resisting protectionism by promoting rule-based international trade and investment.
Once all necessary procedures are ironed out, the EPA is expected to enter into force early next year.