Japan to invest $22bn in UK – Sunak

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has revealed that Japanese companies will invest over $22 billion in the United Kingdom, with a focus on financing offshore wind power and other clean energy initiatives. However, he acknowledged the concerns of car manufacturers regarding Brexit trade rules.

During his visit to Japan for the Group of Seven summit and meetings with business leaders, Sunak emphasised that the £17.7 billion investment from Japanese firms was a significant display of confidence in the UK economy. A notable contribution comes from Marubeni, a Japanese trading house, which plans to provide around £10 billion for offshore wind and hydrogen energy projects.

Sunak hailed these deals as evidence of the benefits that post-Brexit Britain will gain from becoming the first non-regional economy to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Nevertheless, the challenges posed by the UK’s separation from the EU persist for companies.

Stellantis, a European carmaker, has warned that it may close some UK factories if the British government fails to make adjustments to Brexit trade rules to facilitate the supply of electric vehicle batteries. Other industry players, including Ford, Jaguar Land Rover, and Germany’s VDA car industry lobby group, have also expressed the need to maintain tariff-free access despite the approaching deadline set by the EU-UK Brexit deal.

Sunak acknowledged the concerns raised by car manufacturers, stating that discussions are ongoing with the EU to address these issues, not only for the UK but for auto manufacturing in Europe as a whole.

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