Economy Secretary, Ken Skates will be in Japan next month strengthening  Wales’ bonds with the country and leading a Welsh trade mission.

First published:
22 September 2016
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Ken Skates will be in Japan from Tuesday 11th to Friday 14th October as part of the Welsh Government’s ongoing work to strengthen trade links with its international partners. 

He will be joined by  a  trade mission of 16 plus Welsh companies, including The Pembrokeshire Food Company, Melin Tregwynt, Bangor University, V-Trak and the Apple County Cider co, all of whom are looking to increase their trade with Japan.

Speaking about his visit, Economy Secretary, Ken Skates said: 

“Following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, it is more important than ever that we are working hard to strengthen our links with key overseas partners and reassuring them of Wales’ continued commitment to international trade and investment.

“Wales has a proud history of trading with Japan, with Welsh exports to the country standing at over £290m last year alone. It is also a growing market with our exports to Japan in 2015 having increased by 19%  on the previous year. 

"Japan also has a long standing and proven commitment to Wales as an overseas investor,  with links dating back to the 1970s. Indeed there are now  around 50 Japanese-owned companies including Fujitsu, Hitachi, Panasonic, Sharp, Sony and Toyota operating in Wales and cumulatively employing over 6,000 people. 

“My visit to Japan and the trade mission provide the perfect opportunity to strengthen our already thriving friendship and  partnership with Japan. 

“Post referendum our message to our international partners must be that Wales remains  very much open for business. This outward looking and proactive approach is vital to our work to build a stronger and fairer economy, and one that benefits every section of society and every part of Wales.” 

During his visit the Cabinet Secretary will meet key Japanese companies in Osaka and Tokyo and will take part in the official opening of a high profile British fair featuring many Welsh products.