On October 23rd, 2020, the United Kingdom and Japan signed a historic free trade agreement, marking the UK`s first major trade deal since leaving the European Union. This agreement is set to boost trade between the two countries by an estimated £15.2 billion ($19.5 billion) annually.
The agreement, also known as the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, eliminates tariffs on 99% of exports to Japan and creates new opportunities for UK businesses in various sectors, including food and drink, technology, and professional services. It also strengthens digital trade and data protection measures, ensuring that consumers` personal information is secure.
For the UK, this agreement provides a significant boost to its economic sovereignty, allowing it to forge new and diverse trading partnerships in a post-Brexit world. The UK`s Secretary of State for International Trade, Liz Truss, hailed the agreement as a “historic moment” and a “major victory for British businesses”, underscoring the importance of global trade in securing British jobs and prosperity.
For Japan, the agreement represents an opportunity to strengthen its ties with the UK and tap into the growing demand for British goods and services. The founder of Japan`s largest e-commerce company, Rakuten, has already praised the agreement for opening up new avenues of trade and investment between the two countries.
Overall, the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement represents a major milestone in the UK`s post-Brexit economic strategy and a win-win for both countries. As the world continues to grapple with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, free and open trade agreements like this one are more important than ever in driving economic growth and recovery.