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Badenoch leads landmark trade mission to Japan ahead of G7 summit

  • First Secretary-led luxury fashion trade mission to Japan since 2017 including sought after brands such as Christy’s and Freya Rose.  
  • Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch to announce largest ever UK government backed renewables export deal in partnership with Japan – worth more than £130 million in UK made parts.
  • At G7 trade talks in Osaka, Trade Secretary will champion free and fair trade and work to develop resilient global economic supply chains.

Britain’s most sought-after luxury fashion designers including Ettinger and Freya Rose will join a landmark trade mission to Japan to boost exports to the Japanese market.

The trade mission, led by Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch, is the first Secretary-led trade mission of its kind since 2017, following a luxury goods roundtable discussion in London where some of the delegates presented the exciting opportunities that Japan has to offer.

The delegation met Japanese fashion buyers on Wednesday with support from the UK Government and will showcase their products – from hand painted scarves to lab grown jewellery – at the British Embassy in Tokyo to high profile Japanese influencers including Yu Masui.

The visit seeks to increase exports of UK luxury brands to the Japanese market, as part of the Business and Trade Secretary’s mission to hit £1 trillion worth of UK exports by 2030. In 2022, UK fashion goods exports to Japan totalled £133 million, which the department aims to boost even further.

Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch said:

I’m delighted to be travelling to Japan with iconic British brands to bang the drum for UK business, and help more companies take full advantage of the opportunities on offer from our free trade deals such as the UK-Japan agreement and CPTPP.

The G7 trade summit gives me the opportunity to continue to champion free and fair trade on behalf of UK PLC, helping remove barriers to trade, strengthen supply chains and ensure the global trade rules work for British businesses.

The Business and Trade Secretary will also represent the UK at the G7 Trade Ministerial Meeting in Osaka, where she will bang the drum for free and fair trade and discuss the challenges countries face in diversifying supply chains to meet the needs of the future. During the two-day programme Badenoch is expected to meet with her counterparts including Yasutoshi Nishimura, Katherine Tai and EU Commissioner Dombrovkis.

Badenoch will host a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Committee with Foreign Minister Yōko Kamikawa where she will look to further deepen the UK’s trading relations with Japan, building on the FTA signed in 2020. This has benefited British businesses by simplifying the rules of origin and low-zero tariffs, removing significant barriers to trade, supporting businesses to export their goods to this new and exciting market.

This follows the Prime Minister’s meeting with Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in May to agree the Hiroshima Accord. Building on our shared values, the agreement sets out our intention to work together on global security, resilience, and innovation issues. Our trade relationship is strong with total UK exports to Japan amounted to £13.9 billion in the four quarters to the end of Q1 2023, an increase of 9.9% on the previous year.

In a further move to boost British exports to Japan, the Secretary of State will also announce the largest UK Government guaranteed loan for a renewables project: more than £130 million in UK goods made by Siemen Gamesa in Hull to build an offshore wind farm in Taiwan. The project is delivered by UK Export Finance in collaboration with NEXI, Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and Mitsui. The funding will secure jobs and boost the offshore wind industry in the UK and supercharge UK Japan collaboration on renewable projects in developing countries.

Background

The business delegation includes:

  • Anabela Chan: Anabela Chan is the first fine jewellery brand in the world to champion laboratory-grown gemstones and recycled metals, paired with high jewellery design and artisanal craftsmanship; always with a focus on ethical and sustainable innovations. 
  • Christy & Co: Christy & Co Ltd has been manufacturing fine hats in England since 1773.  Today, it still produces its hats and caps using traditional methods at its factory in Oxfordshire.
  • Ettinger: Ettinger have been designing and manufacturing leather goods in their UK factory since 1936 and now supply retailers and consumers all over the world. Ettinger were granted the Royal Warrant from the Prince of Wales in 1996, which is a seal of approval for quality and trust.
  • Freya Rose: Freya Rose is a multi-award-winning British shoe, bag and jewellery designer, established in 2010.  Freya Rose is renowned for her unique collections of sculptural, wearable works of art.
  • Hemingsworth: Hemingsworth is renowned for its high-end ready-to-wear swimwear and leisurewear for men.  All garments are meticulously crafted and proudly produced in the UK, using only the finest materials and trims.
  • Rapport: Rapport craft accessories for preserving luxury watches and jewellery.   The company was established in London in 1898 by the horologist Maurice A. Rapport and today, four generations later, is still run by the Rapport family.
  • Sabina Savage: Sabina is a British artist and print designer known for her exquisite, hand-rendered illustrations, printed on silk, wool and cashmere scarves, who founded her eponymous brand in 2014.
  • Swaine: Established in 1750 as whip and saddlery makers, the House of Swaine is the oldest name in luxury goods, serving the British Royal Family, nobility and gentry for hundreds of years.

Statistics:

  • Statistics on the UK’s trade with Japan were taken from our public trade and investment fact sheets and the Office for National Statistics, and reflect those values as of 25/10/2023. Further information and statistics on the UK’s trade and investment with Japan can be found on GOV.UK and on the ONS website
  • Statistics on the UK fashion and textiles industry were taken from the Office for National Statistics: ONS analysis of enterprises in the UK fashion and textile industry 2022

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