BERLIN (Reuters) - The political agreement between Japan and the European Union on a free trade pact sends an important signal against protectionism on the eve of the G20 summit in Hamburg, German Economy Minister Brigitte Zypries said on Thursday.
"The agreement shows that trade deals for open markets can be concluded with mutual interests. Globalisation needs rules, and trade agreements contribute to this," Zypries said in a statement.
The EU's active and committed trade policy is the right way to shape globalisation and strengthen the high standards of the EU in the areas of employment, environment and consumer protection around the world, Zypries added.
"Of course, a number of issues and open questions are still to be clarified after the basic agreement, in order to be able to conclude the negotiations completely by the end of the year."
Japan and the EU agreed on Thursday to a free trade pact, signalling their opposition to what they see as U.S. President Donald Trump's protectionist turn.
Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Madeline Chambers