As Prime Minister Theresa May arrived in Tokyo for talks with her Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, carmaker Aston Martin has announced a trade and investment deal with the country worth half a billion pounds.
The prestigious marque will expand its dealership network in Japan, launch a new global brand centre in the capital and open other commercial premises, including Aston Martin Meta Technology and Luxury Accelerator offices, Business Insider reports.
The plans lay the groundwork for a five-year plan to increase exports to the East Asian country which will boost manufacturing sites in St. Athan in Vale of Glamorgan and Gaydon in Warwickshire.
“As we prepare to leave the European Union, it is vital that we build on our existing ties with friends and allies,” commented the prime minister, who is accompanied by a trade delegation.
“Aston Martin is a prime example of the innovative and world leading firms the UK is proud of and I’m delighted they are joining me on this important trade mission. We’ve seen SoftBank, Nissan, Toyota investing in the UK since the referendum vote took place and, as part of the visit here today, a £500m Aston Martin deal.”
Brexit: Japan Slaps Down Brussels, Could Do Trade Deal with Britain BEFORE the EU https://t.co/ltCbFCowHf
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 9, 2017
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has previously stated that he expects “a fantastic, all-singing and all-dancing, UK-Japan free trade agreement” once Britain leaves the EU, and announced that there have been a record 2,200 separate investments in Britain by Japan since the Brexit vote.
Asked by the BBC if Japan had any “preference” for the United Kingdom over the European Union recently, Shinzo Abe’s special adviser Tomohiko Taniguchi confirmed that “Britain has always cut a special niche for Japan”.
He predicted Theresa May would make a “giant stride forward” during her visit to the Land of the Rising Sun, and described the “inherent preference amongst Japanese people, Japanese industrialists, to doing business wherever possible in the United Kingdom”.
He added: “There has also been a huge amount of capital sunk into the United Kingdom so naturally there is a strong desire for Japanese business leaders to continue to do business, if possible, in the UK.”