Singapore welcomes Britain joining trans-Pacific free trade pact … – The Straits Times

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SINGAPORE – The Republic welcomed Britain’s decision to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) as its 12th member, and the first European one.

The move to join the trade pact – which includes Singapore, Japan and Australia – comes as Britain seeks to build ties around the world after leaving the European Union in 2020.

In a post on LinkedIn on Friday, Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong congratulated Britain on the “significant milestone” which concluded after almost two years of negotiations.

“The UK’s accession to the CPTPP will provide more business opportunities and make it easier for Singapore companies navigating the UK market,” said Mr Gan.

He said it further enhances the countries’ strong bilateral economic relationship, which is underpinned by various agreements, namely the UK-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, the UK-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement and the UK-Singapore Green Economy Framework.

Mr S. Iswaran, Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations, mirrored this sentiment in a congratulatory post, also on LinkedIn.

“Singapore remains strongly committed to ensuring that CPTPP remains high-standard, robust and relevant, so that it continues to bring benefits to our people and businesses,” Mr Iswaran said. “I look forward to the UK’s accession to the CPTPP.”

Mr Gan added that members will now work with all CPTPP members towards the signing of the accession protocol.

Other members of CPTPP are Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru and Vietnam.

In a joint ministerial statement on Friday, member countries said the CPTPP is “one of the most comprehensive and ambitious trade deals ever concluded”.

“The CPTPP Members and the UK are committed in further promoting free trade, open and competitive markets, the rules-based trading system and economic integration in the region and beyond,” they said.