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Region’s food & drink and digital firms set to benefit from trade deal with Japan

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The region’s exporters – particularly across its large food and drink sector - stand to benefit from the UK’s first post Brexit trade deal agreed with Japan last week. The UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement signed by international trade secretary Liz Truss in Tokyo is the first agreement that the UK has secured that goes beyond the existing EU deal.

It provides improvements in key areas for the region such as food and drink, creative industries, digital and data. Last year over 1,000 East of England businesses exported goods to Japan which were worth £870 million. According to the government, the ‘British-shaped’ deal secures major wins that would be impossible as part of the EU and puts the UK at the forefront of shaping new global standards on digital trade. Food and drink manufacturers employ 36,000 people across the East of England in 2018 and last year the value of food and drink exports to Japan was worth £311.5 million. Under agreed liberal rules of origin terms, exporters be allowed to source ingredients from the EU and the rest of the world. Customs costs and procedures for UK exporters will be more straightforward and the deal makes it simpler for UK businesses to meet Japanese safety regulations.

Liz Truss said: “Today is a landmark moment for Britain. It shows what we can do as an independent trading nation, as we secure modern and bespoke provisions in areas like tech and services that are critical to the future of our country and the reshaping of our economy.” She said that the agreement also opens a clear pathway to membership of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which will open new opportunities for British business.

Last Updated ( Monday, 26 October 2020 09:02 )