The UK to begin its first negotiations with CPTPP members about joining the trade pact

September 06, 2021 | 15:43
The United Kingdom will hold its first meeting with members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) trade pact in September to discuss the UK's application to join the deal.
The UK to begin its first negotiations with CPTPP members about joining the trade pact
The UK is about to launch the negotiations with CPTPP members about joining the trade pact

Following its exit from the European Union, the UK is looking to expand its economic footprint in Asia-Pacific. The CPTPP Commission, the bloc's decision-making body, held a video conference with ministers from the 11 countries, including Japan, Australia, and Singapore.

This year, Japan chairs the commission and also leads the CPTPP's working groups on tariffs, trade, and investment regulations toward London's envisaged participation, as reported by newswire The Mainichi.

As many CPTPP members have already signed bilateral trade deals with the UK, no major obstacles are expected in the accession talks, the Japanese government officials have said. The final decision on whether to accept the UK application is expected to be made as early as next year.

The UK's participation, if realised, will push the bloc's share of global economic output to 16 per cent from the current 13 per cent.

London filed a request in February to join the CPTPP. The UK aims to conclude negotiations to join the CPTPP bloc by the end of 2022.

Deborah Elms, executive director of Asian Trade Centre, told VIR that, "For the UK, the process of acceding to the CPTPP is likely to be fast. Joining the deal has political engagement at the highest levels in London, discussions have been underway for some time, and many of the most challenging topics have already been flagged."

"Current and potential future members will be watching the accession process for the UK with significant interest. This is a trade deal that delivers results, and getting new members in only increases its attractiveness," she added.

The CPTPP trade bloc, which went into effect in 2018, already boasts a population of almost 500 million people, outnumbering the European Union's 448 million. Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam are members of the CPTPP. Eight of them have so far ratified the pact.

By Vy Nguyen

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