The UK's maiden post-Brexit trade deal struck with Japan on Friday (11 September) can be "the first of many", according to head of the Confederation of British Industry Carolyn Fairbairn.
The Department of International Trade said its first trade deal secured since the UK left the EU had been sealed and will be worth around £15.2bn. The deal was agreed "in principle" by international trade secretary Liz Truss and Japan's foreign minister Motegi Toshimitsu, it added.
The deal "secures additional benefits beyond the EU-Japan trade deal", the statement said, giving UK companies exporting to Japan a competitive advantage including "improved market access for UK financial services".
Government analysis suggests the deal will deliver a £1.5bn boost to the UK economy and increase UK workers' wages by £800m in the long run, it added. UK businesses will benefit from tariff-free trade on 99% of exports to Japan.
Truss said it was "an historic moment," claiming the deal was reached in "record time." She continued: "From our automotive workers in Wales to our shoemakers in the North of England, this deal will help build back better as we create new opportunities for people throughout the whole of the UK and help level up our country."
"Strategically, the deal is an important step towards joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership and placing Britain at the centre of a network of modern free trade agreements with like-minded friends and allies."
Director general of the CBI Fairbairn called the deal "a breakthrough moment." He said: "It will be welcomed by businesses across the country. The government and business now need to work together to make the most from the deal. It's a huge opportunity to secure new Japanese investment across a wider range of sectors and UK regions."
"Business will help support the government in its efforts to secure more trade deals around the world and promote their benefits to communities. The Japan deal can be the first of many."