Japan-UK to 'work quickly' on trade deal after Brexit

Following Boris Johnson’s visit to Japan last month to discuss future trade partnership, Theresa May met with Shinzo Abe to further develop post-Brexit ties between the two nations.

Theresa May and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met again in Japan
The UK will remain a “compelling place” to do business after the country leaves the European Union, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has told a forum of business leaders in Tokyo.

Development of post-Brexit relations between the UK and Japan

As Prime Minister Theresa May wound up a three-day visit to Japan, she joined Mr Abe at the meeting of British and Japanese business leaders to stress the importance of increasing the economic ties between the two nations.Mr Abe told the forum, “With the UK leaving the European Union, the UK is in the midst of great change. The UK's departure from the EU has to be successful for the UK, European Union and global economy – this is going to be quite important that this exit is going to be a successful one.“I have trust in the UK economy after Brexit. Many Japanese companies, even after the Brexit vote, they have decided on new investments into the United Kingdom. This is testimony to Japanese companies' expectations of the United Kingdom.“From the UK in the EU exit negotiation, there has to be transparency and predictability to minimise any damage on the businesses. We have received that commitment and we value this greatly. Even after Brexit, the UK, for business people, it will continue to be a compelling place. I am convinced of that.”
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Mrs May’s told the meeting that Japan would be a key trading partner after Brexit. The Prime Minister said, “This is a formative period in shaping the future of my country and as we leave the European Union, so I am determined that we will seize the opportunity to become an ever more outward-looking global Britain, deepening our trade relations with old friends and new allies around the world,” she said.“And there are few places where the opportunities of doing so are greater than Japan, the third largest economy in the world.“So I am here together with a business delegation representing some of Britain's biggest investors in Japan, because we want to build on that momentum, and because I believe this is a good moment for like-minded partners such as Britain and Japan to be doing more together.“For as we become a global Britain, a European nation still, but one that is outside the EU, so we will be free to engage more actively and independently, particularly in key Asian markets like Japan.”

Establishing a speedy economic partnership

Mrs May told a press conference later in the day that the UK and Japan would “work quickly” to establish a new economic partnership after Brexit.“Announced earlier this month, our intention is that the UK will be free to sign new bilateral trade agreements with partners around the world in any interim Brexit period, and we have agreed here today that we want to see a swift conclusion of the ambitious EU-Japan economic partnership agreement,” Mrs May said.“Prime Minister Abe and I have agreed that as we exit the EU we will work quickly to establish a new economic partnership between Japan and the UK, based on the final terms of that agreement.“We will set up a new joint working group to examine how we can unblock remaining barriers to trade and take steps to build the closest, freest trading relationship between the UK and Japan after Brexit.”Mr Abe added, “The fact that, after the decision on Brexit, Japanese companies are continuing to make new investments into the United Kingdom shows the profound trust that Japanese companies have toward the British economy. It is important for the world economy to realise Brexit from the EU, which is smooth and successful.“With this in mind I have asked the Prime Minister May for her continued consideration for ensuring transparency and predictability so as to minimise its impact on the business activities, including the Japanese companies.“We also agreed to have further enhancement of the dialogue between the two nations for the strengthening of the bilateral economic relations after the Brexit.”Mr Abe said that Japanese companies were “paying much attention to what the UK will do”. He added, “In this context, the government and Prime Minister May's position is being appreciated by Japanese companies. Some of them are making new investments in the UK and many companies are still staying in the UK, continuing their operations.”For related news and features, visit our Enterprise section.Access hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory  Get access to our free Global Mobility Toolkit Global Mobility Toolkit download factsheets resource centre

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