Cable praises UK immigration from Japan

06 Jun 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

UK immigration and investment from Japan has been praised as beneficial for Britain by business secretary Vince Cable.

Speaking to 200 business leaders in Japan, Mr Cable stated that investment from Japan continues to play a central role in the UK economy.

He added: "Our response is also to embrace openness to trade and investment and we have adopted a Growth Strategy committing us to a free trading, pro-business regime.

"We want to apply this philosophy across government: a positive outcome for Japanese business of recent visa policy changes is evidence of this - we exempted intra-company transfers from the controls."

The business secretary made reference to the fact that intra-company transfers are not included in the annual limit of 20,700 Tier 2 UK work permits, which was introduced in April of this year.

He added that both countries are facing "immense challenges" in the economic recovery, but encouraged the Japanese business community to stand together with the UK in order to achieve the "recovery and growth that our people deserve".

However, Mr Cable's current attitude towards UK work permit regulations clashes somewhat with his initial reaction.

Following last year's announcement regarding UK work permit limits, Mr Cable stated that "a lot of damage is being done to the British industry" due to the fact that companies were relocating job openings abroad because they were unable to obtain UK visas for essential staff.

Speaking to the Financial Times, the business secretary added that the engineering and pharmaceutical sectors would be particularly affected, along with investment banking.