Britain joins trade block for Asia-Pacific group

Wellington, New Zealand –

The UK formally joined the Asia-Pacific Trade Group, which includes Japan and 10 other countries, on Sunday during a meeting in New Zealand.

This trading bloc covers over 500 million people and 15% of the global economy. For Britain, it is the biggest trade deal since leaving the European Union more than three years ago.

The UK first announced in March that it had reached an agreement to join the bloc, which was created in 2018, after more than two years of negotiations. It will be the first new member state to join a bloc called the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Also includes New Zealand, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

“We are proud to be the first new members of the CPTPP and to join this extraordinary community of 12 economies spanning Asia, the Pacific and Europe,” said UK Trade Minister Kemi Badenoch. . “This is a modern and ambitious agreement and our accession to this exciting and growing forward-looking bloc is evidence that the doors are open for business in the UK.”

Badenok said there are already more than half a million Britons working for companies in bloc member countries.

Japan’s Economy Minister Shigeyuki Goto said the UK’s addition would strengthen the bloc.

“The fact that this has been done in a way that maintains high standards of agreement sets an exemplary precedent for future accession,” Goto said.

The agreement comes as the UK seeks to expand its engagement in the Indo-Pacific region. Critics say the deal is paltry compared to trade between the 27 EU member states and Britain’s neighbors.

New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said the addition of the UK to the bloc was great news for the region.

“Trade is not only a priority for the government, it is essential to economic recovery and to improving the lives and livelihoods of all New Zealanders,” said Mr Hipkins.

Since leaving the EU, the UK has also signed separate trade agreements with Australia and New Zealand.

The United States is not a member of the bloc, as former President Donald Trump withdrew from its predecessor, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. China has applied to join the block.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button