EU offers to end tariffs on Japanese autoparts: Nikkei

(REUTERS) - The European Union (EU) is ready to eliminate tariffs on Japanese autoparts in exchange for Japan ending import duties on a range of European food items, the Nikkei said.

Japanese companies export about 500 billion yen (S$6.32 billion) of autoparts to the EU every year and are charged about 3-4.5 per cent in tariffs by the EU, according to the business daily.

Officials of the two countries will meet in Brussels next week for a third round of bilateral talks to reach an economic partnership agreement. The two countries met in Japan in September to discuss draft proposals on tariff elimination, the paper said.

In exchange for eliminating its autoparts tariffs immediately the EU is asking for an end or reduction in duties in eight fields including on wine that is charged at 15 per cent per litre, and cheese, which is charged at 30 per cent, the Nikkei said.

Japan had proposed to end 80 per cent of its tariffs immediately and increasing it to 85 per cent within 10 years, the paper said.

The EU offered a 90 per cent tariff elimination except the 10 per cent duty on automobiles and 14 per cent on LCD televisions, according to the newspaper.