From Tunbridge Wells to Tokyo -MP becomes UK’s man in Japan

Co-founder of Pickering - Polly Taylor

The unpaid, voluntary role will involve the Tunbridge Wells MP promoting UK trade with the pacific nation and is likely to see Mr Clark make regular trips to Tokyo as well as other Japanese cities.

Trade Envoys are parliamentarians appointed by the Prime Minister that are drawn from both the Lords and the Commons and across the political sphere.

There are 37 envoys covering 77 markets across the globe.

The appointment of Mr Clark last Thursday (April 5) coincided with a visit by the Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida’s in London as he and Boris Johnson agreed a ‘landmark’ new defence agreement.

The two agreed a new military deal that allows the country’s armed forces to deploy together to carry out training, joint exercises and disaster relief activities.

Mr Johnson has also signposted Japan as in important trading partner following Brexit.

The UK has just applied to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), one of the largest and most exciting free-trading clubs in the world, and Japan is its largest economy and the UK’s 13th largest trading partner.

Mr Clark has held positions in HM Treasury and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, where he served as Secretary of State, which Downing Street says makes him ideal for the role.

The MP also currently serves as the Chairman of the Commons Science and Technology Committee – a role he will continue to do while he serves as Trade Envoy.

On his new role, the Tunbridge Wells MP said: “I am delighted to have been appointed the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Japan.

“As Business Secretary from 2016 to 2019, I enjoyed strong relationships with Japan as a hugely significant trading partner with the UK.

“I look forward to building on this in the role, championing UK businesses and creating more opportunities for our two countries to deepen our already strong ties.”

His appointment was welcomed by UK International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan, who said: “I welcome the Prime Minister’s appointment of Greg Clark MP as the new Trade Envoy to Japan.

“Our Trade Envoys play a vital role in promoting Global Britain across the world, and our trade deal with Japan provides huge opportunities for UK businesses.”

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