The UK has officially signed an economic partnership agreement with Japan, marking an historic moment, as the UK’s first major trade deal following its departure from the European Union (EU).
The UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement was signed by International Trade Secretary Liz Truss and Japan’s Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu in Tokyo earlier today (23 October).
The deal is tailored to both economies and has secured that goes beyond existing EU deals, with big benefits for digital and data, financial services, food and drink, and the UK’screative industries.
The Government says the estimated boost to trade between the UK and Japan is over £15 billion, with long-term economic benefits that are crucial to ‘build back better’ from Covid-19, reshaping the UK economy so it is fit for the future.
International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss said: “Today is a landmark moment for Britain. It shows what we can do as an independent trading nation, as we secure modern and bespoke provisions in areas like tech and services that are critical to the future of our country and the reshaping of our economy.
“Trade is a powerful way to deliver the things people really care about. At its heart, this deal is about creating opportunity and prosperity for all parts of the UK and driving the economic growth we need to overcome the challenges of Coronavirus.
“The agreement also has a much wider strategic significance. It opens a clear pathway to membership of the Comprehensive Trans-Pacific Partnership – which will open new opportunities for British business and boost our economic security – and strengthens ties with a like-minded democracy, key ally and major investor in Britain.”
Stephen Phipson, CEO of Make UK
, the manufacturers’ organisation commenting on the signing of the FTA agreement with Japan said: “New trade opportunities to boost business as we come out of the current Covid-19 crisis will be welcomed by British industry.
“We must continue to place the emphasis on giving the UK’s smaller businesses access the opportunities of international trade particularly in liberalising access for UK manufacturing services.
“This will give a welcome helping hand to some of the country’s most innovative companies, which sometimes struggle to navigate the complexities of breaking through into new markets.
“Business looks forward to being directly and closely involved in the ongoing programme of trade negotiations to ensure the best possible outcomes.”