LONDON, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Britain and Japan made progress
towards a comprehensive free trade deal and are committed to
getting a deal in place by the end of this year, trade minister
Liz Truss said on Thursday.
Japanese foreign minister Motegi Toshimitsu is in London
this week meeting senior ministers as the two countries try to
tie up a deal before Britain leaves the European Union and no
longer benefits from an existing EU-Japan deal.
"We’ve made further progress towards a comprehensive deal
with a like-minded democracy and long-standing ally, and we
share a commitment to getting a deal in place by the end of
2020," Truss said in a statement.
Japan, the world's third largest economy, has for decades
been a large foreign investor in British industry, particularly
in consumer electronics and car manufacturing. The total value
of bilateral trade in 2019 was 31.6 billion pounds ($41.5
billion) according to British data.
Britain is seeking a deal that uses the 2019 EU-Japan
agreement as its template, and seeks to improve on its terms in
British analysis estimated that, in the long run, the trade
deal could? increase annual trade flows between? both countries
by 15.2 billion pounds and increase the size of the UK economy
by ?1.5 billion pounds.
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge, writing by William James;
editing by Stephen Addison)