First meeting for Britain's inclusion in CPTPP to be held in a month, says Japan minister – The Straits Times

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TOKYO (REUTERS) – Member countries of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) agreed to hold within a month a first meeting with Britain to discuss its inclusion in the trade deal, Japan’s Economy Minister said on Wednesday (Sept 1).

The trade pact removes 95 per cent of tariffs between its members: Japan, Canada, Australia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Singapore, Mexico, Peru, Brunei, Chile and Malaysia.

“It was agreed between member countries to hold it (the meeting) in about a month,” Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura told reporters after hosting a virtual meeting of the 11 member nations.

Japan, as the trade pact’s chair this year, will work to hold the working group meeting – which will allow Britain to demonstrate its compliance with the deal’s obligations – before the end of the month, Mr Nishimura said.

“I believe that the importance of Britain as a strategic partner and the expansion of the high-level rules beyond the Asia-Pacific are extremely significant,” he added.

Britain in June began negotiations to join the trans-Pacific trade deal, which it sees as key to its post-Brexit pivot away from Europe and towards geographically more distant but faster-growing economies.