UK kickstarts talks to join trans-Pacific trade bloc CPTPP

·2-min read

The UK will begin its first round of official talks on Tuesday on joining a trans-Pacific trade bloc.

A virtual meeting will take place between the UK and all 11 members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

International Trade secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan described the talks as a “big milestone on our path to joining CPTPP”.

The CPTPP is a free-trade agreement between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

The UK applied to join in February, and in June the CPTPP announced that the accession process would begin.

The first UK-attended meeting of the CPTPP’s UK Accession Working Group will begin remotely in the early hours of September 28, the Department for International Trade said, adding other members had previously met to discuss the UK’s application.

Singapore is one of the pact members (Steve Parsons/PA)
Singapore is one of the pact members (Steve Parsons/PA)

It paves the way for a series of negotiations on the UK’s accession to the CPTPP trade bloc.

Ms Trevelyan said: “This is a big milestone on our path to joining CPTPP, which will allow us to forge stronger links both with old friends and some of the world’s fastest-growing economies.

“Joining this high-standards partnership will provide real opportunities for UK exporters and service providers and help our innovators open up new, diverse markets.

“Seizing opportunities like this is exactly what Global Britain is about and will help bring high-quality jobs and prosperity to every region of our country.”

Trade minister Penny Mordaunt will also make an official visit to CPTPP countries Chile and Peru.

She is due to meet Chile’s minister of agriculture Maria Emilia Undurraga and her Peruvian counterpart Roberto Sanchez as well as businesses from the region, DIT said.

Ms Mordaunt said she would be using the visit to “explore deeper trade and investment ties with both countries”.

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