Just Earth News | @justearthnews | 10 Mar 2018
Singapore City: Canada, Singapore and nine other nations have decided to move along after the United States of America bid adieu to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), reports said.
The new version of the multilateral trade pact has been named Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for TPP (CPTPP) and is backed by Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
USA ditched the pact a year ago, leaving it in jeopardy.
In January, earlier this year, after overcoming some last-minute resistance from Canada, the CPTPP was formally launched in Chile.
The deal is expected to reduce tariffs of people living in the 11 nations.
According to experts, it will benefit Singapore by allowing it access to countries such as Mexico and Canada, where the former does not have a free trade agreement (FTA). Moreover, it will also boost linkage between Japan and Singapore in various sectors.
Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry said that CPTPP member countries in 2017 accounted for 22.2 per cent of former's total goods trade, which is an estimated S$214 billion.
Meanwhile, Deborah Elms, founder and executive director of the Asian Trade Centre, said that the CPTPP will send a strong signal on free trade at a time when the US is raging a trade war with other partnering nations.
"Recent events shouldn’t overshadow the importance of what other parts of the world, especially Asia, have been up to in terms of opening markets and continuing to push forward more sensible policies on trade,” she said.
The formalisation of the CPTPP could also help to speed up talks on Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
Conceived in 2012, the RCEP is a 16-member multilateral trade pact.
It includes 10 ASEAN Member States - Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam and six ASEAN FTA partners - Australia, People’s Republic of China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, and New Zealand.
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