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Singapore ratifies comprehensive and progressive agreement for Trans-Pacific partnership

Singapore ratified the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) on Thursday (19 July), becoming the third nation to do so after Mexico and Japan.

In a press release, Ministry of Trade and Industry stated that the CPTPP will enter into force 60 days after six of the 11 signatories ratify the Agreement.

According to the ministry, the CPTPP is a high-quality agreement which will reduce market barriers and foster trade in a combined market of 500 million people with a gross domestic product (GDP) of US$10 trillion, noting that the Agreement establishes rules in new areas such as E-Commerce.

The ministry stated that the negotiations on the CPTPP were concluded on 23 January 2018 in Tokyo, Japan, and the Agreement was subsequently signed on 8 March 2018 in Santiago, Chile.

Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing said, “The CPTPP is an important agreement that will complement Singapore’s existing network of bilateral free trade agreements. It will strengthen trade among countries in the Asia-Pacific, resulting in a more seamless flow of goods, services and investment.”

“Against the current backdrop of trade tensions and antiglobalisation sentiments, the CPTPP sends a strong signal of our commitment to trade liberalisation and a rules-based trading system. The CPTPP is an open and inclusive Agreement and we welcome like-minded parties to join the CPTPP after it has entered into force,” he added.

In a Facebook post, Mr Chan stated that the CPTPP is an important and high quality agreement that will complement Singapore’s existing network of bilateral free trade agreements. It will eliminate or reduce tariff and non-tariff barriers to create new opportunities and benefits for businesses, workers and consumers across the Asia-Pacific region.

He noted that the CPTPP also promotes innovation, productivity, competitiveness and inclusive trade, bringing benefits to even small and medium sized businesses, adding, “I look forward to the prompt ratification of the agreement by other CPTPP partners so that businesses can reap the benefits of the agreement soon.”

The ministry noted that Singapore companies that are interested in business and investment opportunities in the CPTPP countries can contact Enterprise Singapore at [email protected] or refer to the MTI website for more information.

TPP was a 12-nation agreement among the United States and Pacific rim countries that was designed in part to counter China’s rising dominance of the region. But US President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal in 2017 as promised in his election campaign, saying it would encourage companies to ship jobs to lower-wage countries.