Wednesday, 21 October 2020

UK secures first post-Brexit free trade agreement with Japan

© AFP 2020 / TORU YAMANAKA

LONDON: Earlier this week, Reuters reported citing anonymous officials in Tokyo that Japan intends to speed up trade talks with the United Kingdom and reach a broad consensus on an agreement this week.

The UK’s Department for International Trade said in a statement on Friday that it had secured a free trade deal with Japan, the country’s first major post-Brexit agreement.

“The UK has secured a free trade agreement with Japan, which is the UK’s first major trade deal as an independent trading nation and will increase trade with Japan by an estimated 15.2 billion pound ($19.5 billion, 16.5 billion euros),” the statement reads.

According to the department, the newly concluded deal means that 99% of the country’s exports to Japan would be tariff-free.

The deal, which London said represents an important step towards the UK joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) was agreed in principle by UK’s international trade secretary Liz Truss and Japan’s foreign minister Motegi Toshimitsu via a video call on Friday.

“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,” Truss was quoted as saying.

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