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Source: New Zealand Government

New Zealand has joined other members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in agreeing to start the process towards the UK becoming a member of the Agreement, Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor announced today.

A special CPTPP Commission meeting, chaired by Japan, was held virtually this afternoon, bringing together ministers and senior officials from all eleven CPTPP economies. The Commission took a consensus decision to begin the accession process with the UK and to establish an Accession Working Group for that purpose.

”New Zealand welcomes this next step towards the UK becoming part of the Indo-Pacific’s most advanced and high quality free trade agreement,” Damien O’Connor said.

“This comes against a backdrop of heightened interest among APEC economies in potential accession to the CPTPP.

“New Zealand believes the agreement’s objectives – to maintain and expand more open, rules-based trade – have a big contribution to make to post-COVID economic recovery in our region and beyond. We see the growing interest from a range of economies in joining the CPTPP as testament to its importance in this regard.”

The Accession Working Group will examine how the UK will comply with the existing CPTPP rules and will negotiate the UK’s market access commitments.

Under CPTPP accession procedures, candidates are expected to deliver the highest standard of market access commitments, including on goods, services and temporary entry for business people.

“We look forward to working with our CPTPP partners and the UK to establish how the UK will meet the high standards required in the CPTPP, including those relating to market access.

“It will be particularly important that this first accession process sets a strong precedent, both in regard to the substantive commitments expected of the UK, as well as in the adoption of a thorough and robust process,” Damien O’Connor said.

CPTPP economies are Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Viet Nam. Together they account for 13.3 percent of world GDP – worth a total of US$10.6 trillion.