The UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) was signed on 23 October marking the first agreement that the UK has secured as an independent trading nation.
The deal is hoped to boost UK-Japan trade by over £15 billion and drive economic growth in the long run. The largest increases in service exports are expected to be in financial services, insurance, and business services.
Other key features of the agreement include:
- digital & data provisions that go beyond the EU-Japan deal, including enabling free flow of data, a commitment to uphold the principles of net neutrality and a ban on unjustified data localisation that will prevent British businesses from having the extra cost of setting up servers in Japan;
- supporting UK car and rail manufacturing jobs at major investors in the UK like Nissan and Hitachi through reduced tariffs on parts coming from Japan, streamlined regulatory procedures and greater legal certainty for their operations;
- strong tariff reductions on key agricultural products like pork, beef and salmon that will benefit farmers and food exporters;
- a boost for UK brands with protections for potentially over 70 UK agricultural products, including English sparkling wine, Scotch beef and Welsh lamb; and
- British consumers to benefit from cheaper, high-quality Japanese goods, including udon noodles, Bluefin tuna and Kobe beef.
If ratified, the CEPA will come into force on 1 January 2021.