The UK today signed its first major trade deal as an independent trading nation, with Japan. The agreement delivers real improvements to the framework for financial and related professional services trade between the two nations.
Commenting on the news, Miles Celic, Chief Executive Officer, TheCityUK, said, “The UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement is a milestone deal. It builds on the already deep relationship in financial and related professional services. This FTA sets out a strong framework for collaboration in financial services regulation, covers new areas such as forward-looking provisions for digital trade and the prohibition of data localisation, and will bring tangible benefits for customers in the UK and Japan. The real work starts with implementation and we are keen to continue working with government and regulators to embed this landmark deal and other new trade deals.”
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.