UK, the first European country, to join CPTPP

March 31, 2023 - 15:03
CPTPP accounted for 12 per cent of the global GDP in 2021 and this would rise to 15 per cent with the UK’s accession.
British Ambassador to Việt Nam Iain Frew. — VNS Photo Lê Việt Dũng

HÀ NỘI — It is particularly meaningful that Việt Nam hosted the final round of negotiations on UK accession, as the two countries celebrate 50 years of diplomatic ties in 2023, Iain Frew, British Ambassador to Việt Nam, said in a press briefing on Friday.

The UK announced the conclusion of trade negotiations with all member countries of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) the same day.

With the conclusion, the UK has become the first European country to join the dynamic trade bloc and the first new member since its inception. The UK and CPTPP members will now take the final steps required for the UK to formally sign in 2023.

After an intense round of talks in Việt Nam, negotiations, which began in June 2021, came to a unanimous agreement that the UK has reached the conclusion of its accession process to join the trade bloc.

Accession could mean lower tariffs on some exports to the UK that are not already removed through the UK's bilateral agreements with member countries, including Việt Nam.

As for Việt Nam, the UK's participation will cement the existing UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement, upgrading bilateral relations with additional preferential tariffs and deepening one's involvement in the other's supply chains.

At the UK's end, CPTPP will offer opportunities to strengthen its trade ties with the Asia-Pacific region. The deal will also complement and reinforce existing bilateral trade agreements that the country has already signed.

The inclusion of the UK in the deal will allow member countries to diversify their supply chains, remove trade barriers, and encourage more commerce for firms. It will also benefit investors through modern rules that make it easier to do business in the country. — VNS