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UK and Japan agree historic free trade agreement

The UK has today secured a free trade agreement with Japan, which is the UK’s first major trade deal as an independent trading nation and will increase trade with Japan by an estimated £15.2 billion.

The UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement was agreed in principle by International Trade Secretary Liz Truss and Japan’s Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi on a video call.

The deal is tailored to the UK economy and secures additional benefits beyond the EU-Japan trade deal, giving UK companies exporting to Japan a competitive advantage in a number of areas. It will help to create jobs and drive economic growth throughout the whole of the UK.

The deal is also an important step towards joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). This will give UK businesses a gateway to the Asia-Pacific region and help to increase the resilience and diversity of our supply chains.

UK businesses will benefit from tariff-free trade on 99% of exports to Japan. Government analysis shows that a deal with Japan will deliver a £1.5 billion boost to the UK economy and increase UK workers’ wages by £800 million in the long run.  UK manufacturers, food and drink producers and the tech sector are all set to benefit from the measures in the UK-Japan deal.

Masako Eguchi-Bacon, Japan Desk – Market Specialist at the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce commented:  “It is fantastic news that Japan and the UK have secured a free trade agreement, which covers a wide area from food, textiles, automotive to digital and services.

Both UK and Japanese companies will enjoy not only reduced tariffs but also increased protection of GI (geographical indications) and IP (Intellectual property).  I believe this agreement will expand increased trade and business opportunities between the two countries.

I have been aware that the negotiations have been based on the Japan-EU EPA, but in fact the UK – Japan agreement has achieved additional benefits in certain areas beyond the Japan-EU EPA, which highlights a good relationship between the two countries”.

The Japan desks works extensively with UK businesses to help identify partnerships and strategy agreements wanting to work within the Japanese market. Further information on the Japan desk and how it supports businesses can be found here

How to Sell in Japan – half-day course

Recently the Japan Clinic, offered by the Japan Desk of Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce, has seen an increase in interest from British companies who are looking into exporting and expanding their business to Japan.  This course will first help companies and individuals to understand the key differences between the way in which UK and Japanese companies operate, communicate and make decisions. Based on that understanding, the course will focus on how to sell in Japan.  At the end of the course, there will be a workshop to learn basic Japanese business etiquette, including useful business Japanese to impress your Japanese contacts. Find out more and book your place here 

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Sarah Irving

Head of Marketing & Communications

Direct dial: 01753 870500

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