Sir David Wright to head new TheCityUK Japan Advisory Group

TheCityUK has appointed Sir David Wright, senior advisor at Barclays, and former UK ambassador to Japan, to chair its new high-level industry group focused on supporting and deepening the UK’s relationship with Japan.

The Japan Market Advisory Group, which will comprise senior practitioners from across UK-based financial and related professional services, will provide strategic insight, guidance and support to the UK government as it seeks to further strengthen the trade and investment relationship with Japan. The group’s remit will include developing an industry dialogue between the two nations and identifying mutually beneficial business opportunities. Key among these will be supporting work towards a new and ambitious trade and investment agreement between the UK and Japan.

Commenting on his appointment, Sir David Wright, said, “With Brexit fast approaching, the UK’s trade and investment relationships with countries beyond the EU have become an even greater strategic priority. As the world’s third largest economy Japan has long been a key partner and a trading priority. There is also considerable opportunity for the UK to share the expertise of its world-leading financial services ecosystem.”

Miles Celic, Chief Executive, TheCityUK, said,

We are honoured to appoint a chairman of Sir David’s stature to lead our work with Japan. His expertise around UK-Japan trade and investment and the financial markets of both nations is unrivalled. He will lead a very senior group of practitioners to deepen the relationship between our respective industries and support the government in its efforts to strengthen links with Japan.

The links between the UK and Japan are already well established, with financial and insurance services currently the UK’s largest services export to Japan, valued at £3.5 billion in 2015. Currently around 450 British companies, ranging from those on the FTSE 100 to small businesses, operate in Japan. In 2015 UK exports to Japan were worth over £10.5bn.

Japan is also a major investor in the UK. Almost 1,000 UK firms are owned by Japanese investors, with a combined turnover of £72bn last year and gross value added to the economy of £14.5bn. Foreign direct investment into the UK from Japan totalled a net £2bn in 2015, with the UK receiving half of the country’s investment into the EU.

Sir David Wright became Vice Chairman at Barclays in June 2011. Previously, he was Vice Chairman of Barclays Capital, starting in January 2003. Prior to joining Barclays, Sir David was the first Chief Executive of UK Trade and Investment in the UK, a position he held between 1999 and 2002. This was preceded by a distinguished career in the Diplomatic Service, including positions in Tokyo, Seoul, Paris and London. Sir David was British Ambassador in Korea (1990 to 1994) and Japan (1996 to 1999). He is also a board member of the UK/Japan 21st Century Group.

Alongside the Japan Market Advisory, TheCityUK has similar groups focused on: ASEAN, China, Eurasia, India, Latin America, Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Switzerland, Turkey, and the US.