Hi-tech materials firm Lucideon is set to receive a £1 million boost from the new Japan trade deal.
The Penkhull-based company plans to open a new office in Ibaraki Prefecture, on the outskirts of Tokyo, as part its expansion into the Far East country, now that the UK-Japan deal has been agreed in principle.
Lucideon, which develops advanced ceramics and processes for a range of industries, is also looking to launch a joint venture with a Japanese company.
CEO Tony Kinsella, who was recently appointed to the Department for International Trade’s Technical Advisors Group, says the increased business in Japan will mean more jobs in the UK.
Tony said: “We expect expansion in Japan to open £1 million worth of business over the next 12 months for Lucideon.
“It’s been great us for us to be involved with this process with the Department for International Trade.
“We now plan to ramp up our operations in the UK, expanding our workforce to service and support the Japanese market.
“Over the years, our technologies have been particularly well-received by Japanese industry.
“The atmosphere for business is very forward looking, with a real appreciation of technological advantages that can give product and production improvements.
“Following on from the agreement, we are now able to move our plans forward by opening the new office, and launching a joint venture with a Japanese company.
“We will also be able to further develop the application of AI within materials selection and development.”
The UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, Britain’s first major post-Brexit trade deal, replicates and builds on agreement between the EU and Japan.
Ministers say the deal, which should come into effect once the transition period ends on January 1, will remove trade barriers between the two countries, improve market access for UK financial services, and give greater protection to creative industries.
Mr Kinsella also believes the free trade agreement could lead to Japanese involvement in the Midlands Industrial Ceramics Group (MICG), of which Lucideon is a member.
The MICG is looking to establish the region as a world leader in advanced ceramics, with plans for a hi-tech campus in North Staffordshire.
Mr Kinsella added: “We hope that this trade deal, and our investment in Japan, will bring a major Japanese investor into the Midlands Industrial Ceramic Group’s proposed Advanced Ceramics Centre in North Staffordshire.
“The deal is good news for us, for Stoke-on-Trent and for the Midlands.”