Japan and the UK have signed an historic free trade agreement, mere months after negotiations towards it began.
The deal is the first for the UK as an independent trading nation from the EU and the British government will no doubt be hoping this can serve as a model for progress going forward.
A meeting was held via video call on Friday (September 11th 2020) between Britain's international trade secretary Liz Truss and Japanese foreign minister Motegi Toshimitsu to cement the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement in principle.
Under the deal, UK businesses will enjoy tariff-free trade on 99 per cent of their exports to Japan, while more liberal Rules of Origin have been put in place for producers of products including knitwear and biscuits.
There are sizeable tariff reductions for British pork and beef exports, and Japanese producers of automotive parts will also benefit from more favorable terms.
Ms Truss commented: "The agreement we have negotiated - in record time and in challenging circumstances - goes far beyond the existing EU deal."
Experts suspect Japan will also be keen to see the UK use this as a stepping stone towards joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would help the Asian nation boost its competitiveness against China.