On 16th July, 2023, the British Government announced that it had officially signed the protocol to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) after nearly two years of negotiations.

CPTPP has 11 members including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

The UK Business and Trade Minister signed the document in New Zealand in the presence of 11 CPTPP member countries, making the UK the first new member and the first European country to join the CPTPP since it was established in 2018.

The agreement is a big boost for British businesses, opening up opportunities to trade with a market of more than 500 million people and access a wider region. The UK's participation is estimated to raise CPTPP’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from 12% to 15% of global GDP, or $15.7 trillion.

In addition, investment between the UK and CPTPP member countries is expected to increase as the agreement contains provisions to reduce barriers and encourage more intra-regional investment with getting preferential tariffs. The UK's membership of the CPTPP will also strengthen value chains and supply chains in the bloc, promoting free trade in the region.

As for Vietnam, the UK's accession to the CPTPP will promote stronger bilateral trade growth. Along with the current UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA), the UK's accession to the CPTPP opens up even more business opportunities for both Vietnam and the UK. Compared with UKVFTA, the UK has committed to increase tariff quotas for some Vietnamese products. With the CPTPP, Vietnam's products will have a much more competitive advantage than other countries of the same strength.

The agreement will be ratified by the British Parliament in order to enter into force.


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