Foreign Investment in UK: Japan

Department for International Trade written question – answered on 7th March 2018.

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Photo of Lord Taylor of Warwick Lord Taylor of Warwick Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Japanese ambassador has raised concerns with regard to future Japanese investment in the UK; and, if so, what assessment they have made of those concerns.

Photo of Baroness Fairhead Baroness Fairhead The Minister of State, Department for International Trade

Her Majesty’s Government maintains regular contact with Japan and the Japanese Ambassador. The Prime Minister recently invited the Ambassador and representatives of Japanese business to Downing Street to talk about our future trade and investment relationship, which my Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade attended. At this meeting, the Japanese Ambassador did not raise any specific concerns about future investment in the UK.

The Ambassador noted that both he and the Japanese Prime Minister were grateful for the opportunity for Japanese investors to meet the Prime Minister, and that Japan is willing to work with us on our future trade and investment relationship.

Japan and the UK are both keen to continue our positive trade and investment relationship with the minimum of disruption.

We will continue to provide opportunities for Japanese business and the Japanese government to communicate with us on our future relationship – on the 1st of March, my Rt Hon. Friend the Minister of State for Trade Policy met representatives of Japanese businesses to hear their views on our trade and investment relationship, and to further explain UK trade policy. HM Treasury, BEIS and DEXEU all provided the same delegation the opportunity to discuss our trade and investment relationship.

Our trade and investment relationship with Japan is a positive and growing one – in the 2016-2017 fiscal year, Japanese investments launched 116 new projects in the UK. Toyota Motor Europe announced in March 2017 that it is investing £240 million to upgrade its car plant in Burnaston over the next three years, while Nissan announced in October 2016 that it will invest £500 million to produce Qashqai and X-Trail cars in Sunderland.

Ensuring that the UK remains competitive is a key priority of the Government. This Department is constantly evaluating and enhancing the way we promote the retention and expansion of international business. To ensure that the UK continues to be a global leader in attracting FDI, DIT is looking at how it can deliver new ways to target support for those FDI projects that create the most value for investors and national wealth.

In engaging with other countries, we highlight the strengths of the UK that make it the best place for companies to capitalise on emerging opportunities across Europe. We have a skilled workforce and a low tax and a well-regulated economy; speak English - the language of global business; and are in the right time zone to trade with both Asia and the US. We are home to some of the world’s finest universities, our research and development capabilities are cutting-edge and our financial institutions world-leading. All of this is underpinned by a well-respected and well-known legal system.

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