BNR – The United Kingdom plans to finalise a Pacific trade agreement in Auckland next week. By doing so, the country turns into the framework’s first member to join since its inception. It also turns focus to a list of other candidate nations led by China.
The agreement will be signed during a ministerial meeting of members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
According to a press statement from the country’s Ministry of international affairs and Trade, New Zealand is hosting the meeting. The event is set to occur on 15-16 July.
UK Strengthens Ties with Asia-Pacific Economies
“The United Kingdom’s membership of CPTPP sits alongside our bilateral Free Trade Agreement,” Damien O’Connor, New Zealand’s trade minister. He said that it provides Kiwi companies with unparalleled access to the globe’s sixth-largest economy.
The CPTPP was formerly viewed as a mechanism to balance China’s increasing power in the Asia-Pacific region. Former President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the accord in 2017. As a result, the accord’s size shrank, with Japan remaining the biggest economy in the agreement. Tokyo is continually pressuring the United States to come back.
Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam are the current members. There are 500 million people living in the bloc. According to the International Monetary Fund, it will be worth 15% of global GDP once the United Kingdom enters.
China to Join Trade Agreement
China is the next candidate on the list for joining the agreement. In 2021, the country filed its request just months following the UK. Taiwan, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Uruguay, and Ukraine quickly followed suit.