Improved connectivity and digital skills have helped many countries cope with the health and economic crisis of COVID-19. Nevertheless, the pandemic highlights the need to help individuals and businesses by filling gaps in access to fast and reliable internet between and within countries, as shown by the OECD`s latest digital economy outlook. The creation of a reciprocal trade agreement puts the EU at the forefront of how to reconcile the ACP Group`s special status with the EU`s WTO commitments. The near-solution solution to this dilemma is an agreement that is reciprocal only in the way necessary to meet wto criteria. In reality, ACP countries will have some leeway and maintain limited protection of their key products. The extent to which trade should be liberalised under the new EPAs remains a highly controversial issue and it remains to be seen whether the WTO provisions governing regional trade agreements will be revised at the end of the Doha Round in favour of the EPA system. The Economic Partnership Agreements are a system for creating a free trade area between the European Union and the Group of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (ACP). This is a response to persistent criticism that the EU`s proposed non-reciprocal and discriminatory preferential trade agreements are incompatible with WTO rules. The EPAs date back to the signing of the Cotonou Agreement. EPAs with different regions are in different playing conditions.

In 2016, the EPAs were to be signed with three regional economic communities in Africa (East African Community, Economic Community of West African States and Southern African Development Community), but these faced challenges. [1] [it should be updated] The House of Commons International Trade Committee (ITC) and the House of Lords Subcommittee on International Agreements have both published reports on the agreement. The ITC welcomed the signing of the agreement and the security and continuity that results. The commission stated: “While the differences between the EPA and JEEPA may not be as significant as claimed, there are notable exceptions, particularly the numerical data and data and financial services provisions.” The committee recommended that the agreement be debated in the House of Commons. The government has led the EPA in a number of areas, including digital trade and data, beyond the EU-Japan agreement. The government`s impact analysis shows that the long-term agreement will result in an increase in trade between Japan and the United Kingdom of $15.7 billion (although most Japanese exports go to the United Kingdom) and an increase of $1.5 billion (0.07%) The UK State of the Union`s GDP committee. These figures are the source of trade with Japan under WTO terms and do not conflict with the status quo of trade under jeepa. Partnership agreements on cultural heritage can also be used; Monuments, parks and gardens, battlefields, historic landscapes and for territories with a number of related assets.