Foreword April / May 2010

Her Majesty The Queen’s Birthday

Embassy and Chamber an effective partnership

On the occasion of the celebration of Her Majesty The Queen’s Birthday, it is a great pleasure to be invited to write a message to the readers of BCCJ ACUMEN magazine.

As members of the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan will know, it has been a busy year, notwithstanding the economic downturn. The work of the embassy and of the consulate general in Osaka to help UK firms export to the Japanese market has continued without interruption and we have seen an encouragingly high number of trade missions, British groups at trade fairs and senior visitors. And however uncertain the world economy has been, it is good to know that Japan remains a major market for British goods and services. We are still selling nearly £9 billion worth of these to Japan annually, and that does not, of course, include the enormous contribution that Japanese investors make to the UK.

I am particularly pleased that recently I was able to get around the UK and talk to firms in the regions about the opportunities that the Japanese market presents. I always make the point that we not only have diplomatic posts in Japan that are ready and willing to help UK exporters, but also an excellent chamber of commerce, the expertise and networks of which represent real assets that British firms seeking a foothold here should exploit to the full.

It is a great privilege to be ambassador in a country where the relationship — particularly in the areas of trade and investment — between Britain and Japan is so strong. I am very grateful to the chamber and its members for the unstinting support they give this activity, and all of us here at the embassy and at the consulate general look forward to working with you over the year ahead to continue strengthening this really effective partnership.