TheCityUK comments on new UK/Japan trade negotiations

The UK government has published its negotiating objectives for a free trade agreement with Japan, with talks beginning shortly.

Commenting on the news, Miles Celic, Chief Executive Officer, TheCityUK, said,

The UK‘s services economy is world leading and a key national asset. The negotiation of a new trade agreement presents a huge opportunity to address services issues in far greater depth than ever before, raising the bar for trade agreements in services.

“Japan is a natural partner for UK. We are both like-minded free-trading nations, committed to the global rules-based system. Both countries are strong innovators, with a track record of seizing new opportunities in technology, cyber, data and other 21st century issues. This partnership offers the opportunity to set the standard and our industry looks forward to playing its part.”

UK-Japan two-way trade in services reached £12.6bn in 2018. Financial services accounted for 57% of all UK services exports to Japan at a value of £4.2bn. The UK exported £429m-worth of professional and management consulting services to Japan in 2018. Although Japan is already a mature market, as the world’s third-largest economy and given its demographic profile, there is significant scope for a further increase in bilateral services trade in the years ahead.

Nearly 1,000 Japanese companies have a commercial presence in the UK. Collectively, they employ more than 100,000 workers in the UK, with the majority of these jobs outside London.