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Volume 167: debated on Monday 12 February 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the steps being taken to open the Japanese market to exports from Britain.

The Government have two main trade policy objectives with regard to further opening the Japanese market to exports from Britain. First, to encourage the Japanese authorities to pursue structural reforms to sustain the shift in the balance of their economy from growth led by exports to growth led by domestic demand. Secondly, to secure the removal of the remaining specific barriers to market access. We have been successful: few such barriers remain, and where they do the Government campaign vigorously for their removal in cooperation with the European Commission. We are also strenuously promoting business awareness of the opportunities in the Japanese market and the improvement of our businessmen's skills in the Japanese language. Last year United Kingdom exports to Japan increased by £525 million to £2·3 billion, an increase of 30 per cent. over 1988.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent representations he has received regarding access to the Japanese market for British exports.

I refer my hon. Friend to the reply given by my hon. Friend the Minister for Industry on 6 December. Last year, our exports to Japan increased in value by 30·1 per cent.