6. Japan is France`s 6th largest trading partner outside the EU. The Eurasian Economic Union, composed of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, has concluded the following free trade agreements, see below. France is also committed to making adherence to the Paris Agreement and compliance with its legal obligations the subject of an essential clause in future agreements. The objective of this very ambitious proposal is to be able to denounce the agreement in the event of denunciation of the Paris Agreement and to obtain an additional leverage effect to fight against climate change. This objective was confirmed at the first meeting of the Ecological Defence Council on 23 May 2019. This policy has led to the conclusion of several recent agreements: South Korea (2009), Singapore (2012), Colombia and Peru (2012), CETA with Canada (2016, provisionally entered into force in September 2017) and the Economic Partnership Agreement with Japan (entered into force on 1 February 2019). Negotiations are under way with Chile, Mexico and Mercosur, Australia and New Zealand. The effect of these agreements has shown that they are important levers for growth and employment. Since the conclusion of a trade agreement with South Korea, EU exports to South Korea have increased by 60% and a trade surplus of €3.1 billion was recorded in 2016. EFTA has concluded bilateral agreements with the following countries – including dependent territories – and blocs: the government supports a balanced trade policy that guarantees access for French companies to foreign markets, while preserving collective sensitivities and preferences and promoting compliance with the Paris Agreement. Afghanistan has concluded bilateral agreements with the following countries and blocs: List of agreements between two states, two blocs or one bloc and one state.
After particularly robust growth in 2017 (+2.3%), France`s economic expansion slowed in 2018 (+1.6% approximately) in a less favourable global context, but it continued to be slowed by business investment, household consumption and the growing impact of recent and ongoing Porter national reforms. Growth has benefited employment, with the unemployment rate falling below 9% at the end of 2018. Growth prospects for 2019 are positive, with sustained growth of +1.6%. France, a leading trading nation, has become one of the world`s leading exporting countries, with the value of exports accounting for more than one-fifth of GDP. .