BUSINESS leaders from the East of England were urged to look further East on a visit to the region by the UK Ambassador to Japan. HM Ambassador David Warren CMG met with 15 hi-tech companies and explained the excellent prospects open to them in doing business with Japan. Speaking at a breakfast briefing organised by UK Trade and Investment at St John's Innovation Centre in Cambridge, the ambassador outlined the benefits of the second-largest developed economy in the world. Mr Warren said: "Despite being hit hard last year by the global downturn, Japan is recovering strongly and presents a real opportunity for British companies to develop their business, in a market where their product or service quality will be measured against the best in the world." After visiting two companies already exporting successfully to Japan - The Technology Partnership (TTP) in Melbourn and Prior Scientific Instruments in Fulbourn - Mr Warren said they were an example of the benefits available by trading with Japan. He added: "It's refreshing to visit companies in the East of England using leading-edge technology to manufacture world class products which are well received in the Japanese market. I would encourage more businesses to explore the opportunities the country offers." British exports to Japan are currently worth around \u00A39bn, with high-value manufactured goods comprising two-thirds of the total. Vic Annells, the UKTI international trade director for the region, said: "Businesses in the East of England are able to access a wealth of tailored advice on exporting, from new exporters to the most experienced. UKTI's support programmes will help companies make the most of new international opportunities and help lead the UK out of recession." INFORMATION: To find out more, visit www.eei-online.com or call 08456 419955.