|Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh and Japanese Minister in charge of Economic Revitalisation Toshimitsu Motegi at a press conference on November 11th, 2017.
The new CPTPP agreement was reached by 11 countries (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam) on the sidelines of the just concluded 2017 APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in Da Nang.
The agreement maintains the content of the old TPP deal but allows member countries to temporarily postpone a number of their obligations.
The 11 APEC economic ministers agreed that the CPTPP is a comprehensive and highly standardized agreement on the basis of benefits of its member nations with regard to their development level.
The CPTPP salvagtes the TPP which received a severe blow when the US announced its withdrawal. Economists call it a breakthrough for free trade in the region that counters a growing trend of protectionism and nationalism.
Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh said all members, including Vietnam, will re-assess their requirements, benefits, and the equilibrium point that will keep the new deal viable.
Minister Tuan Anh said, “All the remaining TPP members have affirmed their determination and desire to continue the deal without the US. The nature and quality of the new agreement is reflected in 2 added words - Comprehensive and Progressive - which all 11 TPP ministers agreed reflect the agreement’s overall objective.”
The CPTPP deal embraces a globalization that is characterized by connectivity, cooperation, and development.
Minister Tuan Anh said that, together with Japan, Vietnam plays an important role in creating more global cooperation opportunities, adding: “Negotiating a TPP-11 that maintains the balance of the 12-member TPP has been difficult. Vietnam conducted researches to assess the requirements of its reforms and integration as well as its political, social, and economic requirements to ensure its benefits in participating in TPP 11 and also contributed to the realization of the deal.”
Japanese Minister in charge of Economic Revitalisation Toshimitsu Motegi says TPP members agree on the importance of the deal. Freezing some clauses is the easiest way to realize the agreement right now, and leave open the possibility of the US returning in the future.
“The agreement will be translated into French and English. It will take effect 60 days after at least 6 members approve it. The new deal will temporarily freeze 60 clauses of the initial TPP agreement, 12 of which relate to intellectual property. Four other clauses are set aside for further discussion. Though we still have many points of disagreement, we agreed that we must reach consensus on the deal at the Da Nang meeting. We are trying to balance and preserve the quality of the original agreement and at the same time ensuring its practicality,” Minister Motegi said.
The agreement reached in Da Nang is expected to boost economic growth, generate jobs, improve people’s living conditions, facilitate trade, and enhance economic cooperation among CPTPP members.