|The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CP TPP) was officially inked in Chile on March 8.
Trade ministers of 11 countries participating in the trade pact, namely Australia, Brunei, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, Japan, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, attended the event.
Vietnam was represented by Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh.
The ambitious deal came after the US pulled out the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement last year. The content of CP TPP was basically unchanged from the original TPP with 8,000 pages, except for the suspended implementation of 22 provisions mainly related to intellectual property. It sets high criteria in numerous fields, including labour, the environment, intellectual property, digital economy and cyber security.
The official signing of the pact will facilitate the promotion of economic growth and job generation, poverty reduction, and improvement of people’s living conditions. With its commitment to market opening, CP TPP delivers a strong message against protectionism, while proving that an opening economy will benefit member nations, according to experts.
The pact will create one of the world’s largest free trade blocs with a combined market of 499 million people and GDP of around US$10,100 billion, accounting for 13.5 percent of the global GDP.
Vietnam made significant contributions to the pact’s negotiations, especially at the APEC High Economic Leaders’ Week in Da Nang in November, 2017. The country’s efforts affirm its role in promoting free trade and economic integration in the Asia, America and Pacific Ocean.
Chilean President Michelle Bachelet declared that the signing of the CP TPP is a commitment of global integration and a strong signal against protectionism pressure.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, she expressed her delight over the birth of the free trade agreement which is billed as an ambitious and strategic multi-lateral cooperation deal in the context of globalisation.
She spoke highly the role of Japan and Chile with the initiative to forge ahead with the agreement after the US’s pullout in 2017.
At a press conference held after the signing ceremony, Chilean Foreign Minister Heraldo Munoz affirmed that the parties in the CP TPP hoped the pact will bring economic growth to every nation.
Meanwhile, Japanese Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy Toshimitsu Motegi noted that despite formidable challenges, CP TPP is a historic achievement that creates principles on trade freedom and fairness in the 21st century in Asia-Pacific.
Member countries would still welcome the US back into the pact, he said, adding that the deal opens door to any country that wants to join and accepts all of its principles.