Singapore MTI welcomes any eligible economy to join CPTPP trade pact

The MTI said the CPTPP trade pact will decide by consensus after discussing the matters on accession.
The MTI said the CPTPP trade pact will decide by consensus after discussing the matters on accession.ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

SINGAPORE - Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said on Saturday (Sept 25) that the country welcomes the interest in joining the trans-Pacific trade pact by any economy willing and able to meet the pact’s high standards, following news that China is applying to become a member.

The MTI said the 11 members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will decide by consensus after discussing the matters on accession.

"The Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership is an open and inclusive Agreement," said an MTI spokesman in a statement, in response to media queries.

"Singapore welcomes the interest of any economy that is willing and able to meet the high standards of the CPTPP, and to realise the vision of a free trade area of the Asia Pacific and beyond. The CPTPP parties will discuss the matters on accession and decide by consensus."

The spokesman added: "Singapore will take on the role of commission chair from next year and will closely consult members on CPTPP-related issues, including accession matters, during our chairmanship."

CPTPP consists of 11 member states: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam.

Besides China, Taiwan has also applied to join the trade pact. 

China, whose defeated nationalists fled to Taiwan in 1949 after losing the civil war, considers the island a province awaiting reunification, by force if necessary.

The United States on Friday praised Taiwan's record as a candidate to join the CPTPP and criticised Beijing for stepping up jet incursions near the island.

Japan, the largest economy in CPTPP, has welcomed Taiwan's bid to join.