The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the United Kingdom and Japan is set to usher in a new era of economic cooperation and bilateral trade opportunities. After months of negotiations, the two countries finally signed the historic agreement on October 23, 2020.
The CEPA aims to improve and expand bilateral trade in goods and services between the UK and Japan, provide more investment opportunities for businesses, and promote economic growth in both countries. Under the agreement, tariffs on goods ranging from agricultural products to automobiles will be eliminated or reduced, which will benefit businesses and consumers alike. The agreement also contains provisions on intellectual property rights, financial services, and digital trade.
One of the most significant provisions of the CEPA is the mutual recognition of standards for products and services. This will facilitate trade between the two countries and reduce barriers to entry for companies seeking to do business in the UK or Japan. The agreement also includes commitments to promote sustainability and combat climate change, which reflects both countries` commitment to addressing global challenges.
The CEPA has been welcomed by businesses and industry groups in both countries. UK businesses will benefit from increased access to Japan`s markets, especially in sectors such as financial and professional services. Japan is the UK`s 11th largest export market, with exports worth approximately £8.5 billion in 2019, and the agreement is expected to create new opportunities for UK businesses.
For Japan, the CEPA provides a gateway to the UK`s market of over 66 million people. Japan`s manufacturers, who have significant investments in the UK, will also benefit from the certainty provided by the agreement and the reduction of trade barriers between the two countries.
The agreement comes at a crucial time, as the UK has left the European Union and is seeking to establish new trading relationships around the world. It provides a solid foundation for the UK to build on and is expected to be a key component of its post-Brexit trade strategy.
In conclusion, the CEPA between the UK and Japan is a significant development in the economic relationship between the two countries. It will create new opportunities for businesses, increase trade, and promote economic growth. While there are still challenges to be overcome in the post-Brexit environment, this agreement provides a reason for optimism and underscores the potential for deeper cooperation between the UK and Japan.