UK and Japan sign historic free-trade agreement
© Department for International Trade
The UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement was signed by International Trade Secretary Liz Truss and Japan's Foreign Minister Motegi Toshmitsu on 23 October.
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.
UK businesses - particularly in the food and drink, manufacturing and tech sectors - 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.
International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said: "This is a historic moment for the UK and Japan as our first major post-Brexit trade deal. The agreement we have negotiated - in record time and in challenging circumstances - goes far beyond the existing EU deal, as it secures new wins for British businesses in our great manufacturing, food-and-drink and tech industries."
Find out more about the UK-Japan free-trade agreement.
Exporting to Japan
Japan is the third-largest economy in the world with a GDP of $5.18 trillion (IMF, 2019). Out of 190 countries, it ranks 29th in the World Bank's 'Ease of Doing Business' rankings.
In the four quarters to the end of Q1 2019, UK exports to Japan amounted to £14.6 billion, an increase of 8.5% from the same period the previous year (ONS, 2019). There are opportunites for UK companies across a broad range of sectors.
Key features of the Japanese market:
- Japan is an advanced economy and a stable place for the UK to do business, with strong economic and political ties between the two countries. A track record of success at home can be effective here if you are willing to take some steps to adapt to Japanese business culture.
- The country has a large, rich and highly educated consumer market which is an early adopter of new products and services.
- The e-commerce market in Japan is set to increase by 29% between 2018 and 2022 to be worth $203.90 billion, according to Worldpay's 2018 Global Payments report.