İrem UZUN -TDO- The British government said the UK plans to begin negotiating a free trade agreement with Japan in the near future, setting out its negotiating objectives for a deal it hopes will save its exporters millions of pounds a year in tariffs. “Japan is one of our largest trading partners and a new trade deal will help to increase trade, boost investment and create more jobs following the economic challenges caused by coronavirus... Both sides are committed to an ambitious timeline to secure a deal that goes even further than the existing agreement especially in digital and data,” trade minister Liz Truss said in a statement.
The first round of talks will start through video conference and ensuing negotiations will take place remotely until it is safe to travel amid the virus crisis, according to the statement. The government said manufacturers of textiles and clothing, as well as professional and financial services providers are expected to be among the UK industries that will benefit most from lowering trade barriers with Japan.
According to government estimations, a trade deal with Japan could increase trade flows between the two countries by £15.2 billion, while lower or zero tariffs could save U.K. exporters £33 million a year. According to the Japan Times, Japan was Britain’s fourth-biggest non-EU trading partner in 2018, with total trade between the two countries of £29.1 billion.