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LONDON (REUTERS) – Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said on Wednesday (Sept 30) that Britain had secured Vietnam’s public support for it to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
“This is a significant step in taking the UK-Vietnam economic relationship to the next level, and demonstrating the UK’s commitment and value to the region,” Mr Raab said on Twitter.
The 11-member CPTPP is a free trade agreement that links Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
The bloc represents 495 million consumers and a combined gross domestic product of US$13.5 trillion (S$18.5 trillion).
The United States and China, the world’s two largest economies, are not members of the CPTPP bloc, which was established in part as a counterweight to China’s growing clout.
Previously known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal when the United States was part of the negotiations, the aim of the pact was to bring down trade barriers by slashing tariffs across a significant part of the Asia-Pacific.
Washington pulled out of the deal in 2017.
The following year, US President Donald Trump had said he would consider rejoining the pact if the terms were more favourable to the United States.