UK, Japan eye economic integration through digital trade 

The unveiling of Japan’s US$490 billion fiscal stimulus package in November coincided with the announcement by the UK Department of International Trade of a new export strategy. This is committed to boosting exports to an annual £1 trillion ($1.35 trillion) by 2030, from the current yearly £600 billion. 

While the two policy measures were wholly separate events, their similar timing and scale of ambition alongside a groundbreaking UK-Japan digital free trade agreement sets the foundations for a closer merging of their economies over the coming decade.

Opposites attract

The UK and Japan are not only located at different ends of a vast Eurasian supercontinent, but their future ties with respective surrounding regional economic groupings have substantially diverged in recent years. As the UK broke off its 40-year-plus relations with the European Union, Japan committed itself to what is to be the world’s largest free-trade bloc, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). 

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