25 August 2023

On 16 July 2023, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (“MTI”) announced that the UK has become the first economy to accede to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (“CPTPP”).

Ministers representing Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and the UK met in Auckland on 15 and 16 July 2023 for the Seventh Meeting of the CPTPP Commission (“Commission Meeting”). Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong represented Singapore at the Commission Meeting. At this meeting, the Ministers welcomed the UK as the CPTPP’s newest member.

Accession of the UK to the CPTPP

The UK’s entry to the CPTPP was formalised through a signing of the UK’s Accession Protocol on the sidelines of the Commission Meeting on 16 July 2023. The UK is the first economy to accede to the CPTPP and it reflects the CPTPP’s open and inclusive architecture.

Minister Gan outlined three points:

  • The UK’s accession will enhance the economic heft of the agreement and bring new market access opportunities for members.
  • It is important to build on this momentum to ensure that the CPTPP remains an open and inclusive agreement to aspirant economies that are willing and able to meet its high standards.
  • It is vital for members to work together to review and enhance the implementation of the agreement to ensure it remains as the benchmark for trade agreements.

The UK also stands to gain from becoming further integrated into one of the most dynamic trading areas in the world, and will increase the size of the CPTPP to 15% of global gross domestic product.

The CPTPP first entered into force in December 2018, and is a comprehensive, high-standard regional free trade agreement with a commitment to promote free trade, open and competitive markets, a rules-based trading system, as well as to deepen economic integration of the Asia Pacific region and beyond.

Reference materials

The press release is available on the MTI website www.mti.gov.sg.