Sir, As a supplier of services to over 70 Japanese companies across Europe, I am not at all surprised that Toyota do not intend to move manufacturing away from the UK in the event of a Brexit (“Toyota will stay even if Britain votes to leave the EU” January 12) The key point to bear in mind is that Toyota’s European headquarters are already in Belgium.
What should be of concern is what will happen to the rest of the major Japanese companies, more than half of whom have their European headquarters in the UK, and how any changes in their location might impact the fact that major share of employees of Japanese companies in Europe and of Japanese investment in Europe has been in the UK.
Judging by the mood of the 200 or so Japanese business people at the UK Japanese Chamber of Commerce New Year party last week, the overwhelming wish is for the UK to stay in the EU.
Japanese business people would much rather their companies were based in the UK, but if the UK is no longer in the EU, the straw poll I took suggests that there will be a gradual drift of European HQs away from the UK – and with it related jobs, investment and taxes – and most importantly, for suppliers like my company, the locus of purchasing decisions will also shift.
Norwich, where my company is based, is two hours away from London but only 1 hour away from Amsterdam, so I am making contingency plans accordingly. I assume I am not alone in this.
European Representative, Japan Intercultural Consulting
Managing Director, Rudlin Consulting Ltd
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