UK and Japan sign trade deal. What’s in it for tech businesses?
Today in Tokyo, the International Trade Secretary Liz Truss and Japan's Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu have signed the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).
techUK welcomes this significant step in strengthening the economic relationship between the UK and Japan. CEPA includes modern provisions on services and digital trade, such as:
- commitments to the cross-border free flow of data, with high levels of data protection
- a ban on unjustified data localisation
- comprehensive protections for software, algorithms, and encryption technologies
- provisions on Open Government Data, through the release of anonymized datasets in a machine-readable format.
- commitment to ensuring open internet access and net neutrality
- commitments to online consumer protection
On 26 November, techUK and JEITA will jointly host the UK-Japan Tech Forum, an opportunity to explore how the tech industry can make the most of this trade agreement. If you would like to attend the Forum or have any questions about it, please contact [email protected].
As the UK is also negotiating trade deals with Australia and New Zealand and looks to formally apply to join the CPTPP agreement early next year, today’s signature signals an important step towards a modern UK vision for trade.
Pending parliamentary scrutiny and approval, the UK-Japan CEPA is expected to enter into force on 1 January 2021.
The full agreement text, the Explanatory Memorandum, the Parliamentary Report and the Impact Assessment can be accessed here.
Commenting on the formal signing of the CEPA, Julian David, techUK CEO, said:
“techUK welcomes the signature of the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with its digital trade provisions on cross-border data flows and open government data. The agreement improves an already flourishing relationship between the UK and Japan tech sectors and creates significant opportunities for trade and investment for both our countries. Since 2018, in partnership with JEITA, we have run a successful UK-Japan Tech Forum to enable our members to develop a closer relationship with Japan and we look forward to working with the Government and our partners in Japan to assist the tech sector in taking full opportunity of this agreement.”
Paul Patterson, CEO and Head of Northern & Western Europe, and the Chair of the UK-Japan Tech Forum, said:
“The formal signing of the Economic Partnership Agreement by the UK and Japanese Governments is a significant moment in the strengthening of the relationship between both countries. Our priority now must be to use this ambitious agreement to increase trade and drive future investment. With the comprehensive digital chapter tech has the potential to be one of the success stories of this enhanced relationship. Supporting the flow of technology between the UK and Japan and increasing collaboration on emerging technologies, such as Quantum Computing will contribute to future growth and jobs. As Chairman of the UK Japan Tech Forum I look forward to working with both techUK and JEITA to ensure that the tech sector plays its part in realising the ambition of this agreement.”