British businesses are benefiting from record levels of trade with Japan, as UK exports totalled £14.8bn in the year to September 2019, up by over 7.6% on the previous 12 months.
Latest figures show that Atlantic salmon exports to Japan were 1,060 tonnes, worth £8.7m in the 12 months to October 2019, an annual increase of over 71.8%.
A growing taste for Scotch whisky has seen exports of the spirit to Japan rise to £147.2m in the 12 months to October, an increase of 20.9% on the previous year.
One business already taking advantage of growing demand is The Scottish Salmon Company. The Edinburgh based firm has recently secured a deal to supply Japanese sushi chain ‘Genki Sushi’ with their quality brand Tartan Salmon.
The company currently has 60 sites across the West Coast of Scotland and Hebrides and employs more than 650 people.
Su Cox, Communications and New Business Development Director for The Scottish Salmon Company, said: “Japan and the Far East is a key market and demand for our salmon has helped drive a 25% increase in our exports to the region over the past year.
“We expect this to increase as more consumers discover this fine Scottish product and experience the great taste and provenance of our quality ‘Tartan Salmon’. Our recent success with Genki Sushi is testament to this.
“We take great pride in our Scottish heritage, and this is demonstrated through our commitment to bringing the finest quality Scottish salmon to worldwide markets.”
A future UK-Japan Free Trade Agreement could help to create even more opportunities for British businesses to trade in the region and bring benefits to households across both the UK and Japan.
International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss said: “Scotland has a world-renowned food and drink sector and it’s great to see Scottish salmon being served up in sushi restaurants across Japan.
“Japan is one our closest trading partners and it’s encouraging to see Scottish businesses already taking advantage of trading opportunities in one of the fastest growing markets globally.
“Taking back control of our own trade policy will allow us to trade more with countries like Japan, creating greater opportunities and jobs throughout the whole of the UK.”
In September, the Department for International Trade launched a call for input to prepare for trade negotiations with Japan after Brexit.
This ran for six weeks and gave businesses, interest groups and members of the public across Scotland and the whole of the UK the opportunity to highlight their priorities for a potential future agreement with Japan.