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UK-Japan trade deal offers a boost to Scottish businesses

Scottish wild salmon, Scotch beef and lamb are among 14 iconic Scottish products that could be protected in Japan for the first time as part of the UK-Japan trade deal. Scotch whisky will also continue to benefit.

UK-Japan trade deal offers a boost to Scottish businesses
Harris Tweeds Hebrides - Tartan Tweed, with Harris Tweed Orb stamp

Sep 11, The UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement was agreed in principle by International Trade Secretary Liz Truss and Japan Foreign Minister on a video call this morning (Friday 11 September). It is the UK’s first major trade deal outside the EU.


The deal secures additional benefits beyond the EU-Japan trade deal, including a way for Scottish products to be officially recognised. By increasing geographical indications (GIs) from just seven under the terms of the EU-Japan deal to potentially over 70 under the UK-Japan agreement, this would lead to improved recognition of key UK brands in the Japanese market.


Products that could benefit from the new arrangements are Arbroath smokies, Ayrshire New Potatoes/ Ayrshire Earlies, Bonchester cheese, native Shetland wool, Orkney beef, Orkney lamb, Orkney Scottish island cheddar, Scotch beef, Scotch lamb, Scottish wild salmon, Shetland lamb, Stornoway black pudding, Teviotdale cheese and traditional Ayrshire Dunlop cheese.


The Scottish Salmon Company’s Communications and New Business Development Director Su Cox said:

Japan is a key growth market for our business and demand for our salmon has helped drive greater export sales to the region.
While we expect this to continue as consumers discover the great taste and provenance of quality Scottish products like our ‘Tartan Salmon’, good trading relations are critical in supporting our export ambitions.
We take great pride in our Scottish heritage and the continuation of the Protected Geographical Indication status is very welcome news. PGI acts as a guarantee of the Scottish provenance that is so in demand in worldwide markets.
A deal with Japan could increase UK trade by £15.2 billion, giving a £1.5 billion boost to economy and increasing UK workers’ wages by £800 million in the long run. This will benefit the 574 Scottish businesses that exported to Japan last year and help even more businesses to sell their goods to Japan for the first time.

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said:

This is a historic moment for the UK and Japan. This is our first major post-Brexit trade deal and it goes far beyond the existing EU deal by securing new wins for British businesses including in our great manufacturing, food and drink, and tech industries.
From our Scotch beef and lamb farmers to our Scottish wild salmon and Orkney Scottish island cheddar, this deal will create new opportunities for people throughout the whole of the UK and help level up our country.
Strategically, the deal is an important step towards joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership and placing Britain at the centre of a network of modern free trade agreements with liken-minded friends and allies.

UK Government Minister for Scotland, David Duguid said:

It’s great news that the UK Government has agreed a trade deal with Japan. This will be a real boost for businesses in Scotland.
Last year, businesses in Scotland exported goods worth more than £503 million to Japan.
Scotland’s world-famous products, including Scottish wild salmon, Scotch beef and lamb - and of course, Scotch Whisky - are set to get a significant export boost from this agreement.
This is further evidence of the huge opportunities of Britain leaving the EU, which will benefit all parts of the United Kingdom.

The removal of several trade barriers aims to assist the UK’s 8,000 SMEs already exporting goods to Japan, by offering tariff-free trade on 99% of UK exports to Japan. Scottish food producers like Walkers Shortbread will benefit from lower tariffs.

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