TPP signing-an important milestone: trade ministers

Thursday, 2016-02-04 17:50:38
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NDO/VNA – Trade and economic ministers representing the 12 member countries of the freshly-sealed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement have affirmed that the signing of the deal signals an important milestone and the beginning of the next phase for the TPP.

>>> Trans-Pacific Partnership officially sealed

In a joint statement issued on February 4 following the signing of the agreement in Auckland, New Zealand, the ministers called the TPP a historic achievement for the Asia-Pacific region.

The countries should now focus on completing their domestic legal procedures, they said.

According to the statement, the TPP will set a new standard for trade and investment in one of the world’s fastest growing and most dynamic regions.

With a market of more than 800 million people, the 12 participating countries account for nearly 40% of the global economy and one third of the world’s trade.

In the statement, the ministers affirmed that the deal’s objective is to enhance shared prosperity, create jobs and promote the sustainable economic development of all member nations.

“After five years of negotiation, signing the TPP is an important milestone in our efforts to set high-standard rules of the road in the Asia-Pacific region and more generally,” they said.

Speaking with the press after the signing ceremony, Australia's Trade Minister Andrew Robb said the TPP is likely to bring opportunities to Australian businesses, both exporters and importers.

The Australian Government had enough time to examine the 6,000-page trade document ahead of signing, the said.

The minister noted that TPP will add extra momentum to the trade negotiation on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) which is expected to be completed this year.

The TPP is a free trade agreement between 12 countries - Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam.

Its main function is to lift different types of taxes and barriers to goods and import-export services between the nations.

The TPP will now undergo a two-year ratification period in which at least six countries - accounting for 85% of the combined gross domestic production of the 12 TPP nations - must approve the final text for the deal to be implemented.