Sep 19, 2020 / 07:46

Vietnam willing to share experience with UK on CPTPP accession

The Hanoitimes - The UK looks to focus on trade with the dynamic Asia-Pacific region, including Vietnam.

As a member of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Vietnam is willing to share its experience on CPTPP accession with the UK, said Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang.

 Foreign Ministry spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang. Photo: MOFA

At the ministry’s regular press conference on September 17, the spokesperson stressed that the CPTPP is a high-quality free trade agreement with comprehensive commitments to promoting economic-trade cooperation among member countries and trade liberalization towards open and rules-based trade in the region. 

She underlined that CPTPP member countries have adopted procedures for joining the pact, and economies interested in the pact should meet its high standards and follow admission process.

Earlier, on September 9, the UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT) announced that the UK has taken a major step in the process of joining CPTPP.

International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss, alongside the current chair of the CPTPP Commission, Mexican Economy Minister Graciela Márquez, opened discussions between senior UK trade officials and Chief Negotiators from all 11 members of the Partnership to discuss potential UK’s incorporation into the deal.

This is the first time the UK has met with Chief Negotiators from all 11 members of the Partnership to discuss UK admission, and the first time CPTPP members have had such a discussion with a country seeking membership since the Partnership was created in 2018.

The UK has held preparatory conversations with all CPTPP members. If the UK decides to apply, it will enter into a formal accession negotiation with all member states.

This meeting follows major progress in negotiations between the UK and Japan, the beginning of negotiations with Australia and New Zealand, and the resumption of negotiations with Canada, as the UK looks to focus on trade with the dynamic Asia-Pacific region. CPTPP membership also provides an opportunity to expand trade links with key partners in the Americas.

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

Once fully implemented, the 11 countries will form a trading bloc representing 495 million consumers and 13.5% of global GDP, according to the Canadian government. If the UK were to join, that share of global GDP would rise to about 16%.

The UK left the European Union early this year but the main terms of its membership remain in place during a transition period until the end of this year. Both the UK and EU hope to negotiate a new free trade deal between them by the end of the year, according to Reuters.

On August 6, the CPTPP Commission’s third meeting ended with the approval of a ministerial joint statement reiterating the members’ commitment to back trade liberalization, and multilateral trade. The next meeting of the CPTPP Commission is scheduled for 2021 in Japan.