Britain, Japan Keen to Finalize Trade Agreement Soon
Arslan Butt • 1 min read
Britain’s Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, has expressed interest in starting negotiations towards a trade deal with Japan in the coming weeks. In a recent interview with Reuters, Raab commented, “The aspiration will be to do it by the end of the year. We can certainly begin it earlier than Spring”.
Raab’s interest has been echoed by his Japanese counterpart, Toshimitsu Motegi, who is keen to conclude trade discussions with Britain at the earliest. Britain is expected to focus on finalizing trade agreements with leading economies around the world even as it tries to negotiate a free trade agreement with the EU as its first priority.
Japan would like Britain to remove restrictions that were place on imported foods by the EU in the aftermath of the accident at the Fukushima nuclear reactor back in 2011. The EU maintains that foods imported from Japan be subjected to inspections and certificates of origin before being permitted into its markets.
Meanwhile, Britain also has to reassure Japan that it will maintain amicable trade terms with the EU as several Japanese companies have previously relied on business with Britain as a gateway into EU markets. Raab is also set to visit Singapore and Malaysia after concluding his trip to Japan.