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Japan, Britain start talks on free trade agreement

Xinhua

2020-06-15

 

Japan and Britain formally began talks on a free trade agreement on Tuesday, aiming to reach an agreement on a post-Brexit trade deal by the end of this year.

 

During the 30-minute video conference, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told British International Trade Secretary Liz Truss that he is convinced that the establishment of a new economic partnership will further strengthen the bilateral relationship.

 

"Our common goal is for this agreement to serve as a cornerstone of an even stronger relationship between our two great island nations for many years to come," Truss said.

 

The two countries will build on the existing (European Union) EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), with Tokyo looking to eliminate auto tariffs while London has said it expects benefits for its financial services and textile industries.

 

Britain is also hoping to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a replacement pact after the United States exited the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.

 

According to Truss, the forthcoming agreement between Britain and Japan will "act as an important milestone toward the U.K.'s accession to CPTPP."

 

Trade between the countries was worth about 38 billion U.S. dollars in 2019, with Japan being Britain's 11th largest export market while Britain the 12th biggest market for Japan.

 
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