Business West responds to the signing of the UK-Japan free trade agreement

Zoe Bagnall
Content and PR Executive | Business West
23rd October 2020

Today, 23rd October, the UK has officially signed the free trade agreement with Japan, bringing new opportunities for businesses in the South West and beyond.

The deal is the first major agreement the UK has signed post-Brexit and could benefit farmers and food producers in an industry that employs around 32,000 people across the region. 

The deal has also brought enhancements for British firms in areas such as creative industries, digital and data.

The region’s dairy sector will benefit greatly from increased protection of supply chains and the removal of tariffs, as well as increased recognition of Geographical Indicators (GIs), which will see iconic South West brands protected in Japan for the first time.

In 2019, there was a 39 per cent increase in British cheese exports to Japan, from £1.6 million in 2018 to £2.2 million in 2019.

James Monk, Director of Commercial Services at Business West said, 

“The signing of the UK-Japan agreement is a hugely positive development in the UK’s post-Brexit trade discussions and will bring a breadth of opportunities for South West businesses in a range of sectors.

“The food and drink industry in the South West in particular is set to benefit, and I am confident that the signing of this deal will open new doors for producers across the region at a time when international trade has become increasingly important.”

Businesses who are looking to export and need more advice can contact The Department for International Trade’s International Trade Advisers in the South West on 01275 774 456 or visit

If you are looking for Brexit related export advice or if you need advice on completing customs declarations, please visit our Trading Through Brexit Hub or register your interest with our new ChamberCustoms service to ensure your export plans run as smoothly as possible. 

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