The Secretary of State for Business has reinforced the UK's support for Japan this week in a speech to 200 Japanese and British business leaders.
In his speech, he underlined that both the UK government and British business stood ready to help with the post-earthquake recovery, including with clearing up nuclear contamination. The bilateral trade and investment relationship is deep and strong, but there was potential to for further. Low carbon vehicles and power generation were two sectors where it was agreed there is great potential for collaboration.
Mr Cable also commented on the impressive recovery operation the Japanese had put in place: “Everyone in the UK was deeply moved by the disasters of 11 March and by the very courageous and stoical response of the Japanese people. The UK government was pleased to be able to send assistance.
“There has been regular PM to PM contact by phone and in person, but I am the first Cabinet Minister to visit since 11 March. The whole world has been impressed by the speed of recovery; many challenges remain. The UK wants to help,” he said.
Mr Cable made it clear he wanted to send a signal to the world that not only is Japan open for tourism, but it’s also a “good place to do business.” Regarding trade, the UK found that an open economy encouraged international foreign direct investment.
An EU-Japan Economic Integration Agreement, towards which a scoping study was agreed in Brussels on 28 May, could result in EUR100 billion more trade in total. The UK strongly supported moves towards an environmental impact assessment, but Japan had to take the opportunity to open its markets and encourage investment from overseas.
At the end of the speech, Mr Cable said: If I can conclude, both countries do have immense challenges. The response for us both should be the same: openness, liberalisation, a business friendly environment and the active pursuit of low carbon future.”
By standing together as friends and business partners we can achieve the recovery and growth that our people deserve. Thank you.