back to article Brit ministers jet off on a trade mission to tout our digital exports...

In a desperate attempt to improve our international trade prospects, UK digital minister Matt Hancock has jetted off on a "cyber trade mission" to "tap huge markets in Singapore and promote UK fintech sector in Tokyo." Meanwhile British culture secretary Karen Bradley will travel to Finland and Sweden, where she will "set out …

  1. Alister Silver badge

    So, they're going to try selling fintech to Finland, is that right?

    1. Allonymous Coward
      Linux

      Selling snow to the Inuit

      The Finns have a terrible track record for technological achievement*. So they'll no doubt roll out the red carpet for some highly qualified Westminster policy wonks who can tell them all about how to deliver stuff on time and under budget.

      * For avoidance of doubt: may not be true. See icon for example.

    2. macjules Silver badge

      We know the government’s commitment to growing the UK’s digital economy:

      1) Tax everyone higher

      2) Increase IR35 by another 20%

      3) Make sure you can not offshore software development (bloody furriners stealing our Romanian contractors' jobs).

      3) If a company is a success, we'll tax it some more.

      4) If that company STILL is successful: Can I have a board job once I have fucked up the British economy?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Brexit

    "Britain has become an undisputed European hub for tech investment"

    Begs the question as to how much longer?

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: Brexit

      If at all , sounds like a made up soundbyte to me , to justify having digital in your job title

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Brexit

        There's also the difference between investment and return on investment to consider. Plenty of money thrown at tech boondoggles over the years.

      2. handleoclast
        Coat

        Re: Brexit

        @Prst. V.Jeltz

        There's nothing wrong with having "digital" in your job title. I was recently promoted to "Digital Tea Boy." No change in the pay, but an impressive job title that sounds good to the people I encounter in the pub. "Ooooooh, digital. Very impressive. Fancy a shag?"

        Mind you, there was a time when the women who fancied me had to be drunk or mad. Now they have to be both. It's a sign of age.

    2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: Brexit

      What is the WTO tariff rate for importing and exporting bits? Does it have to be paid in bitcoins?

      1. Korev Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Brexit

        I'm sure they take a big byte out of it

      2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Brexit

        What is the WTO tariff rate for importing and exporting bits?

        Generally 0%. Look up the WTO "Information Technology Agreement" from 1996 which currently has 82 participants covering 97% of world trade in IT products and who are "committed to completely eliminating tariffs on IT products covered by the Agreement". Individual countries may impose taxes like VAT, of course. Brexit is, as usual, irrelevant here.

        1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

          Re: Brexit

          However World War Three ( coming any day now ) will definitely slow down trade in IT.

          How are we going to export software if U-boats are sinking our floppy disk shipments?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Brexit

            How are we going to export software if U-boats are sinking our floppy disk shipments?

            Load them into Spitfires, of course, and drop them by parachute.

            1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

              Re: Brexit

              Load them into Spitfires, of course, and drop them by parachute.

              No, not at all suitable. Spits are single-seater (except for trainers) so you'd have to open the canopy at high speed, while piloting, to lob the consignment out. Lancasters, that's what you need!

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Brexit

                Lancasters, that's what you need!

                Or Vulcans, for the high-speed Floppies To The Premises (FTTP) delivery.

              2. rh587 Silver badge

                Re: Brexit

                No, not at all suitable. Spits are single-seater (except for trainers) so you'd have to open the canopy at high speed, while piloting, to lob the consignment out.

                Some spits were fitted with rails. The MkXVI could carry 1000lbs of bomb (1x500lb, 2x250lb - in real units, 1000lb being equivalent to 108Jubs or 52.14 Adult Badgers).

              3. handleoclast
                Coat

                Re: Spits

                I prefer swallows.

        2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Brexit

          Brexit is, as usual, irrelevant here.

          Unless you need any people to implement any of this stuff.

          Or any of the other countries have any rules about privacy

          Or there are any sort of licensing or professional qualifications to work with the data

        3. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

          Re: Brexit

          @Phil

          But does 'IT products' include bits travelling along fibre? Will all packets travelling across borders have to stop for customs checks? Can illegal immigrants hide their digital identities in a stream of data? We only want British-made bits on our interwebs.

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: Brexit

            But does 'IT products' include bits travelling along fibre? Will all packets travelling across borders have to stop for customs checks?

            Could be tricky, since photons have no rest mass. Would there be anything to check once you'd stopped them? Maybe you'd need red & green filter channels at Lands End?

            Can illegal immigrants hide their digital identities in a stream of data? We only want British-made bits on our interwebs.

            I usually use recycled bits, much more eco-friendly.

        4. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Brexit

          Individual countries may impose taxes like VAT

          And, given that VAT is a eeevviillll EU-imposed tax, I assume that post-Brexit, stuff will be 20% cheaper?

          Well, one can dream.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Brexit

            given that VAT is a eeevviillll EU-imposed tax

            Invented in the 1950s, before even the EEC existed. "As of 2014, 160 of the world's approximately 193 countries employ a VAT, including all OECD members except the United States"

            (from wikipedia, sorry)

            1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

              Re: Brexit

              And made mandatory by the EU. I believe they also forced us to raise it when we joined ( to 15% I believe ).

    3. Semtex451 Silver badge

      Re: Brexit

      I thought that was Estonia. No?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thank Goodness....

    We're not sending the Rt Hon Ms Amber Rudd off to promote our digital wares......

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: Thank Goodness....

      Do you not think the rest of the world would be interested in our proprietary secure hashtag technology?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Have they sent Boris to Paraguay and Venezuela to try and export our amazing work on Internet Infrastructure?

  5. Chris G Silver badge

    Spare

    I believe that if Britain has a spare fairly lightly used Digimin in good condition, Tristan Da Cunha doesn't have one.

    Perhaps a 'digi' export opportunity there?

  6. 0laf Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    I can think of a couple of digit(al)s I'd like to wave at the ministers

  7. frank ly

    Flying to Finland and Japan?

    They should do it using Google+ or maybe Slack their way through it.

  8. codejunky Silver badge

    Ha

    @Kat Hall

    "In a desperate attempt to improve our international trade prospects"

    I am sure that is how you would word it when the EU is out making their desperate attempts at international trade prospects. Please tell me this is how you described the embarrassment that was the Canada trade deal, the jumping of the gun with the Japan trade deal (is it done yet?) and of course the further embarrassment of losing the US trade deal while the UK is at the front of the queue.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Ha

      Do you know why May is going to Canada now? To try an avoid that very embarrassment of a free trade deal with Canada and lasting about a year and a half before the UK leaves.

      If the UK is at the front of the queue for hormone-injected beef, chlorinated chicken, and a privatised NHS, I think it's best that there isn't one.

      Japan has made it known that it's not particularly interested in the UK out of the single market and customs union.

      It takes years to get a FTA. The UK has to do about 30 in a year and a half to be in the same place as it is now currently in the EU.

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Ha

        @ Dan 55

        "To try an avoid that very embarrassment of a free trade deal with Canada"

        I dont think May can encounter the same problem the EU had over the trade deal with Canada. The EU fearing other members may leave hands over the point of the EU (trade) to the governments and are held ransom by a tiny proportion. I still wonder what they got bribed with.

        "If the UK is at the front of the queue for hormone-injected beef, chlorinated chicken, and a privatised NHS, I think it's best that there isn't one."

        The you must have seriously rejected the EU who were gagging on their knees for the US deal and not only was it snatched from them but given to us instead.

        "Japan has made it known that it's not particularly interested in the UK out of the single market and customs union."

        Japan also disagrees with the EU. Japan wanting the international standard for problem resolution and the EU wanting the out of date and unjust version. This massive sticking point stopping the agreement being made.

        "It takes years to get a FTA. The UK has to do about 30 in a year and a half to be in the same place as it is now currently in the EU."

        If measured in FTA's maybe. But since we wont be within the cartel we wont need to punish the poor globally and instead will see prices falling as we dont need to freeze them out of trade any more. This is something that worries the EU as any trade deal with them could give us the best of both worlds which is why they are desperate to demand we cant be allowed a competitive advantage.

        All of your comment of course being crafted to be as negative as possible

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Ha

          But since we wont be within the cartel we wont need to punish the poor globally and instead will see prices falling as we dont need to freeze them out of trade any more. This is something that worries the EU as any trade deal with them could give us the best of both worlds which is why they are desperate to demand we cant be allowed a competitive advantage.

          It doesn't worry the EU at all because the UK will at best get access to the single market on current terms.

          But you're promised lower prices might well worry the low-skilled who've seen their real incomes decline over the last few years… How about replacing EU migrant workers with those from China, Vietnam or Angola? Sounds like a real vote winner to me!

          Oh, and, of course, we know there's £350 million a week been found behind the same sofa that found extra money for Northern Ireland…

          1. Down not across Silver badge

            Re: Ha

            Oh, and, of course, we know there's £350 million a week been found behind the same sofa that found extra money for Northern Ireland…

            Oh you mean the £350 million* before rebate which is applied before any money leaves the treasury. And then you get back farming subsidies, investment in research etc.

            *If I recall correctly the actual gross amount was fair bit less than £350 million anyway so even ignoring gross vs net, the number was inflated.

            1. MarkW99

              Re: Ha

              You remember wrong. The current figure would be closer to £400m a week. It is 1% of GDP, but not as we measure it. The EU like to include drug dealing and prostitution in GDP now because that pushes up their income. And if we stayed in the EU you could kiss the rebate goodbye - sure to disappear after qualified majority voting comes into force and the EU starts looking for more cash.

          2. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Ha

            @ Charlie Clark

            "It doesn't worry the EU at all because the UK will at best get access to the single market on current terms."

            Which is why a half arsed brexit isnt brexit. If we must be part of the cartel to access the cartel and we are leaving the cartel then it is very easy to work out we are leaving. Only by snatching defeat from the jaws of victory will we end up still trapped in the cartel.

            "But you're promised lower prices might well worry the low-skilled who've seen their real incomes decline over the last few years"

            Eh? Why? because prices go down? If the cost of living goes down then people spend less on their expenses and so have more money. Hence it is a good thing for people, the economy and particularly the poor.

            "How about replacing EU migrant workers with those from China, Vietnam or Angola? Sounds like a real vote winner to me!"

            What have you got against foreigners? From the EU or outside? Why is it so difficult for my US, Russian and Vietnamese friends to come over yet much easier for someone from the EU? Amusingly Russia is in Europe so it isnt about more Europe or being European. Why not treat them all the same and that means relaxing a little outside the EU and tightening up on the EU? What is wrong with equality?

            "Oh, and, of course, we know there's £350 million a week been found behind the same sofa that found extra money for Northern Ireland"

            Eh? I assume you have read some news I havnt seen yet or something.

            What amuses me most is how the point in my first post has been ignored that the UK is called desperate for seeking trade deals yet the attempts by the EU are not. No matter how badly the EU screws up.

        2. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Ha

          I still wonder what they got bribed with.

          Ah, a fine bit of whataboutery.

          The you must have seriously rejected the EU who were gagging on their knees for the US deal and not only was it snatched from them but given to us instead.

          The EU gave up negotiating TTIP because it was politically unsustainable. With Brexit, the all that comes back again as the Tories can push it through. A FTA with the US means privatising everything US business wants access to and lowering standards.

          As for Japan, I believe the FTA was signed in July. Is there any remaining work to be carried out?

          But since we wont be within the cartel we wont need to punish the poor globally and instead will see prices falling as we dont need to freeze them out of trade any more.

          The UK will be negotiating from a position of weakness. The key thing the UK has to offer apart from lowering regulations is loosening visa requirements, which probably won't win support from those who voted leave. See preliminary negotiations with India.

          All of your comment of course being crafted to be as negative as possible

          With certain subjects like Brexit I find it's useful to manage expectations. Hasn't failed me so far.

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Ha

            @ Dan 55

            "Ah, a fine bit of whataboutery."

            I assume that means you also dont know. Since we are talking trade and it was highly valid to the point I wonder 'whataboutery' answering the freaking question instead of brushing it off because you dont like it?

            "The EU gave up negotiating TTIP because it was politically unsustainable."

            Wow thats a new narrative. Wasnt it really that Obama wanted a successful deal, the EU was gagging for it as it isnt a bad thing to want, Obama sticks his nose where it dont belong and Trump takes the offer away from the EU and hands the offer to the UK.

            As I joked before the referendum, if you are against TIPP you are both in favour of remain and leave. Remain because no way will all the members agree to it, leave because the EU wants it really badly and will do anything to get it.

            "A FTA with the US means privatising everything US business wants access to and lowering standards."

            Bull, balls and FUD. Didnt somebody mention lowering our electrical standards because of the EU? I may try and find who wrote the comment it sounded pretty clued up.

            "As for Japan, I believe the FTA was signed in July. Is there any remaining work to be carried out?"

            The Japan deal was announced a success. However it wasnt at the time (no idea if it is even now) because the EU and Japan couldnt agree on conflict resolution which basically was a deal breaker. To bypass this issue the EU was considering leaving that part out of the proposals for the vote and then resolving it without the members permission.

            "The UK will be negotiating from a position of weakness"

            Well thats a mistake.

            "The key thing the UK has to offer apart from lowering regulations is loosening visa requirements"

            What are you talking about? We dont need a fancy agreement to trade with others outside the EU. And at WTO tariffs things outside the EU will already be cheaper. That is before deals.

            "With certain subjects like Brexit I find it's useful to manage expectations. Hasn't failed me so far."

            Then why dont you see anything positive? Unless by manage you mean negative. You say it hasnt failed you so far yet you keep railing against something which has so far been pretty positive.

            1. Dan 55 Silver badge

              Re: Ha

              I assume that means you also dont know. Since we are talking trade and it was highly valid to the point I wonder 'whataboutery' answering the freaking question instead of brushing it off because you dont like it?

              Has Rees-Mogg stopped beating his wife? I don't know, you don't know, but I'm going to pose the question anyway.

              Wasnt it really that Obama wanted a successful deal, the EU was gagging for it as it isnt a bad thing to want, Obama sticks his nose where it dont belong and Trump takes the offer away from the EU and hands the offer to the UK.

              No, TTIP died at the end of August 2016 then Trump cancelled it so he could say he cancelled it, much like Trump wound up all those advisory councils after everyone left anyway.

              To bypass this issue the EU was considering leaving that part out of the proposals for the vote and then resolving it without the members permission.

              It seems the EU, Canada, and Japan have agreed to set up a Multilateral Investment Court.

              What are you talking about? We dont need a fancy agreement to trade with others outside the EU. And at WTO tariffs things outside the EU will already be cheaper. That is before deals.

              The UK really needs tariff free trade to replace the tariff free trade it has now with the EU and it needs it ASAP. Everyone knows the UK is desperate. To get that it has to offer something like visas (quote: "senior diplomats and Indian government officials warned Ms May’s refusal to reform visa restrictions could scupper her hopes").

              You say it hasnt failed you so far yet you keep railing against something which has so far been pretty positive.

              Let us count the positive things...

              End of list.

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: Ha

                @ Dan 55

                "Has Rees-Mogg stopped beating his wife? I don't know, you don't know, but I'm going to pose the question anyway."

                Hang on. So I ask a legitimate question and you call it 'whataboutery'. So you post the above?

                "No, TTIP died at the end of August 2016 then Trump cancelled it so he could say he cancelled it, much like Trump wound up all those advisory councils after everyone left anyway."

                Germany is the EU? I thought this whole EU thing was to have the negotiating power to be able to make trade deals like this? And it didnt seem so dead until Obama left as he was desperate for it to be his legacy and Clinton would have continued with it. Until trump killed it. And then rubbed the EU's nose in it by coming to us with negotiations. I hear the EU were planning on making any trade negotiation require we dont get the deal (think it was private eye) as it screws the idea that we are dead in the water.

                "It seems the EU, Canada, and Japan have agreed to set up a Multilateral Investment Court."

                Again i dont know if they have finally sorted this out- https://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2017/07/06/that-eu-japan-free-trade-deal-isnt-settled-yet-heres-why/#315611467aaa

                "The UK really needs tariff free trade to replace the tariff free trade it has now with the EU and it needs it ASAP"

                Why? Some prices fall as we leave purely due to being outside the cartel. We already have countries interested in trade deals.

                "Everyone knows the UK is desperate"

                Who? The EU keep believing it then crying they cant get their own way when we use difficult words like- NO. They then stomp their feet, complain negotiations aint going anywhere then refuse to negotiate until we accept 100% what they want. And around we go again.

                "Let us count the positive things...

                End of list."

                As I said you are not managing your expectations, you are just negative. Thats fine, but you might as well realise you are refusing to see any positive when there is plenty. For example you might notice-

                >some inflation (BoE and gov been trying to do this for almost a decade)

                >leading to rate increases (BoE and gov been trying to do this for almost a decade)

                >house prices levelling out (BoE and gov been trying to do this for almost a decade)

                If you want an amusing train of thought- The great recession hits 2008! The US and UK do what they can to get out of recession (and we do). The Eurozone (read EU) dont.... and eventually have to do what they can to avoid deflation. The US is looking to raise rates. The UK is considering it now after the brexit vote. The Eurozone (read EU) is still years behind in the recovery and desperately trying to get anywhere. Right now the IMF is bailing out the Euro (Greece). The EU is being bailed out by the IMF currently while their massively stalled economy struggles.

                1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                  Re: Ha

                  Hang on. So I ask a legitimate question and you call it 'whataboutery'. So you post the above?

                  "I still wonder what they got bribed with. Do you know?" is the same kind of loaded question. No proof but it paints whoever it is in a bad light.

                  If someone high up in an important EU country involved in the trade negotiations says the trade negotiations are dead, they're dead. Are you objecting to the fact he's German or something?

                  Trump isn't too sure about the trade deal, in January he was keen, from April to July he wasn't very keen, at the end of July he was keen again because "You Don’t Hear The Word Britain Anymore", and in August he said he wanted to dismantle NAFTA. I don't think you can say what you claimed based on his ramblings.

                  That Walstall article was written before the agreement was signed. It was signed later in the same month.

                  We already have countries interested in trade deals.

                  If they are, it's because they know the UK is desperate.

                  If you want proof the UK is desperate, try this quote from the Canadian media...

                  "And as Britain turns to Canada and other nations to try to shore up its trade networks, its negotiators face a similar problem: everyone knows they are desperate for a deal. [...] And this Thursday, Canada will gain precisely what the U.K. is now on course to lose: free trade with the European Union."

                  You see, it's not just an EU media conspiracy.

                  Why do you think inflation is a good thing with stagnant wages in an indebted economy?

                  1. codejunky Silver badge

                    Re: Ha

                    @ Dan 55

                    ""I still wonder what they got bribed with. Do you know?" is the same kind of loaded question. No proof but it paints whoever it is in a bad light."

                    So answer the question. It isnt loaded it is serious and simple. The Canada deal was held up, then it was finally allowed through by the single tiny gov that held it ransom. Why?

                    "If someone high up in an important EU country involved in the trade negotiations says the trade negotiations are dead, they're dead. Are you objecting to the fact he's German or something?"

                    Why would I have a problem with him being German? I did point out the huge fact (you obviously have a problem with) that Germany is not the EU and Germany saying it is dead does not mean it is dead. Obama certainly didnt seem to think so. Are you objecting to him being the black president of the US? (I know your not but its the same stupidity)

                    "I don't think you can say what you claimed based on his ramblings."

                    Maybe you just have something against US presidents? The EU promised that our contribution will not be used to bail out Greece. A signed agreement Cameron was proud of. And the EU went and did it anyway. Guess you dont trust the EU either?

                    "That Walstall article was written before the agreement was signed. It was signed later in the same month."

                    Cool. What did the EU finally agree to? Did they let the members decide or not?

                    "If they are, it's because they know the UK is desperate"

                    Eh? Countries want trade deals with us is somehow bad? Get the feeling your being negative again? What would you say if they didnt want to trade? Or that our gov is seeking trade deals as Kat Hall called "a desperate attempt". Almost as boring as the bad news "we voted to leave" good news "we aint left yet". Hence the label remoaner.

                    "You see, it's not just an EU media conspiracy."

                    Your right! You who sees nothing good, the EU who are trying to talk us down and a single article which doesnt seem to know what it is talking about. The best amusement being they quote a lib dem, not known for their impartiality on the subject. Pointing out EU states are forbidden from negotiating ignores that Canada is not a member. No need to go on I think.

                    "Why do you think inflation is a good thing with stagnant wages in an indebted economy?"

                    And now I see your problem. Lets start at the beginning. In 2008 there was a global recession. The UK and US did what they could to get out of recession and did so quickly. Since then the BoE (fed in the US) and governments have been trying to get inflation to start off. With inflation and full employment (again see US/UK) we get the pull to cause wage increases but also to regulate the inflation we increase the base rate. You may notice that the base rate is really low and so removes a method of dealing with recession? You may also notice that it is causing problems with skewing the market particularly housing?

                    Wages wont be increasing first. We had a major recession. I am sure you notice the IMF is bailing out the Euro (you neglected to acknowledge that). You may also have noticed the unemployment problem in the Eurozone. And the continual crisis due to the currency.

            2. Charlie Clark Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: Ha

              Wow thats a new narrative. Wasnt it really that Obama wanted a successful deal, the EU was gagging for it as it isnt a bad thing to want…

              No, the EU gave up TTIP (please do try and get the abbreviations right) as a botched job because the European Commission, at the behest and with the full knowledge of member states and the USA, tried to conduct negotiations in secret. This backfired badly and is why Dan is quite right to point out the political price.

              This was all a long time before the US presidential election by which time, of course, public opinion in the US had moved against international trade deals. Less of an issue for TTIP than for TPP, where China was given a golden opportunity to take the lead in regional trade agreements.

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: Ha

                @ Charlie Clark

                "TTIP"

                Good catch.

                "This was all a long time before the US presidential election"

                You may want to mention that to Obama. He was still pushing for this to go through before he left.

      2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Ha

        Do you know why May is going to Canada now?

        I think the main reason is to try and persuade the US not to consider Bombardier's C-Series planes as being unfairly subsidised. If the Americans do decide this then it's job losses in Northern Ireland, where the wings are made. Not that Treesar is worried about votes in Northern Ireland at all…

      3. strum Silver badge

        Re: Ha

        >The UK has to do about 30 in a year and a half to be in the same place as it is now currently in the EU.

        More like 700. Most 'trade deals' aren't comprehensive, country-to-country deals; they're single-commodity or single-trade-body deals - and there are hundreds of them.

    2. Zippy's Sausage Factory

      Re: Ha

      The EU will barely miss the UK as a trading partner - 4% of exports or something like that go to the EU? Whereas about a third or more of the UK's exports go to the EU (can't remember the exact figure and I can't be bothered to look it up).

      So if there's no EU trade deal, or exports to the rest of the world don't increase - significantly - there's going to be a heck of a lot of British businesses going under and jobs lost, I reckon.

  9. colinb

    Insanity?

    Sigh, strikes me as insane to be touting a market that is an 11 hours expensive flight away with a massive culture and business law difference to your home country as opposed to somewhere nearer.

    I work for a Japanese owned company and while i have massive respect for them there are a number of hurdles to doing business in Japan for a UK based SME.

    - Relationships are everything in Japan, unless you are unique you will not win over a local relationship.

    - In most cases you will need to partner with a existing Japan based company. This will take time and lots of work/travel to establish, they will take a cut naturally.

    - Decision making is a long process

    - Even just opening a business bank account can be difficult

    Basically you would need to have cracked markets closer to home, like the EU before doing business in Japan.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Insanity?

      Sigh, strikes me as insane to be touting a market that is an 11 hours expensive flight away with a massive culture and business law difference to your home country as opposed to somewhere nearer.

      Well it did work for Norway's salmon and Scotland's whisky industries… but those are admittedly special cases.

      Elsewhere, as you're presumably aware, the Japanese have been unusually forthright in expressing their views on continued access to the single market.

      1. colinb

        Re: Insanity?

        Yep true, you need a USP.

        If you have a robot that lifts people out of bed and takes them up and downstairs or some other exactly matching Japanese need, have at it and your probably already targeting that market.

        The narrative of easy external markets like Japan is just not real for the majority of UK business and services.

        Not sure how long Scottish whiskey will have a USP, Japanese whiskey is now regularly chosen as the best in the world.

  10. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Last minute lobbying

    I believe Bojo is also organising a jaunt to the gulf to promote British oil and gas…

    Going to Finland and Sweden can only be trying to lobby for special access to the EU markets for UK financial products and services once the UK leaves the single market. Only about a year too late with all these countries actively looking to poach what they can from the UK. Expect lots of nods and sympathy and polite explanations that that chap Barnier in Brussels is handling the negotiations.

  11. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    So they couldn't promote digital products by video conference then?

    So much for Brit-tech.

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