No Japanese companies plan to ditch UK as Brexit looms: survey

By Tetsushi Kajimoto TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese businesses with links to Britain say they have no immediate plans to flee the country as its government seeks to hammer out terms of its exit from the European Union, a Reuters poll found. Many said they would take a 'wait-and-see' stance toward Brexit

Reuters April 19, 2019 05:05:34 IST
No Japanese companies plan to ditch UK as Brexit looms: survey

No Japanese companies plan to ditch UK as Brexit looms survey

By Tetsushi Kajimoto

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese businesses with links to Britain say they have no immediate plans to flee the country as its government seeks to hammer out terms of its exit from the European Union, a Reuters poll found.

Many said they would take a "wait-and-see" stance toward Brexit.

The Japanese government has been vocal about its concern over the impact of Brexit on the United Kingdom, the second-biggest destination for Japanese investment after the United States.

Tokyo warned last year that Japanese companies would have to leave Britain if trade barriers from Brexit made business unprofitable.

Britain's decision to leave the EU has raised concern in London that Japanese companies may shift operations elsewhere if tariff-free trade ends with the rest of the European bloc.

But 89 percent of companies with business links to Britain said they would make no change in their operations and 3 percent are actually considering expanding business in the country.

Some 8 percent planned to downsize business operations in Britain, but none of the companies surveyed planned to leave the country, the April 3-15 survey showed.

However, in written comments many firms said they would watch Brexit developments "for the time being," suggesting that they could leave if Brexit proves bad for business.

"We have a subsidiary in France so Brexit affects us. But we want to wait and see for the time being," a manager of a precision machinery maker wrote in the survey.

"Britain still takes up an important position in Europe, and we have not completely figured out concrete effects of Brexit," a machinery maker wrote in the survey.

The Reuters Corporate Survey, conducted monthly for Reuters by Nikkei Research, polled 478 large and mid-sized firms with managers responding on condition of anonymity. Around 240 answered the questions on Brexit.

Of those, 61 said they had business links to the United Kingdom, and responded to more detailed questions about Brexit.

At the end of 2016, Japanese business investment in Britain stood at 13.4 trillion yen (92 billion pounds). It accounted for 9 percent of Japan's overall foreign direct investment, with successive leaders since Margaret Thatcher promising them a business-friendly base from which to trade across the continent.

After the shocking 2016 Brexit vote, Japan expressed fears about a cliff edge that could disrupt trade when Britain formally leaves the bloc.

So far, Honda said in February it will close its only British car plant in 2021 with the loss of up to 3,500 jobs.

Britain's exit from the European Union was put off by a late night agreement in Brussels last week that gave Prime Minister Theresa May until Oct. 31 to persuade parliament to approve the terms of the country's departure.

($1 = 0.7642 pounds)

(Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Additional reporting by Izumi Nakagawa; Editing by Malcolm Foster & Kim Coghill)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

Alphabet's Waymo partners with Google Maps to offer autonomous rides
Business

Alphabet's Waymo partners with Google Maps to offer autonomous rides

(Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's self-driving unit Waymo said on Thursday it had partnered with Google's Maps to let users book fully autonomous ride-hailing services through the app.

Tesla revises plans for German gigafactory with more details on product lines
Business

Tesla revises plans for German gigafactory with more details on product lines

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Tesla on Thursday revised its application for a planned gigafactory in Europe to include details for plans to produce battery cells on site and an expansion of other production lines, German officials said. It also includes plans to reduce water consumption so that usage remains constant compared to earlier proposals despite the expansion. Tesla has sharply criticised the lengthy regulatory processes in Germany and has pushed back the factory's opening date.

Facebook ready to commit to clear ad data access for partners, French watchdog says
Business

Facebook ready to commit to clear ad data access for partners, French watchdog says

By Mathieu Rosemain PARIS (Reuters) - U.S. social media giant Facebook has offered to commit to providing its partners with clear and objective conditions of access to advertising inventories and ad campaign data, France's antitrust authority said on Thursday following an investigation.