Vince Cable, who arrived in Japan on Wednesday, today told an audience of 200 influential business leaders that “everyone in the UK has been deeply moved by the disaster that took place in March this year. But we have been equally impressed by the speed of your recovery, and want to show our solidarity with you“.
“I want UK firms to see that Japan is safe and open for business,” he added.
The business secretary is set on encouraging renewed trade and investment between the UK and Japan, particularly in low carbon.
Today, he also reiterated the UK’s support for Japan’s aspirations for a Free Trade Agreement with the EU, following the decision in Brussels last weekend to launch a scoping exercise ahead of possible future negotiations. An agreement could generate over €50bn euros in additional exports from Japan to the EU – and more than €40bn euros of additional exports from the EU to Japan.
Japan fact file
- In 2009, UK-Japan bilateral trade was worth nearly £18bn
- UK exports to Japan in 2009 were worth more than £8bn (£3.5bn in goods and £4.53bn in services)
- Japanese imports to the UK in 2009 were worth £9.9bn (£6.66bin in goods and £3.24bn in services)
- Business services (legal, accounting, advertising, R&D) are the UK’s largest single services export to Japan – valued at £2.06bn in 2009. Other significant sectors are sea transport, insurance, travel and financial services
- There are about 450 British companies operating in Japan and over 17,000 British citizens residing there
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