Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker said the first Commission meeting of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) has reached agreement on guidelines to expand the trade agreement.
He said from Tokyo that he welcomed the agreement on accession procedures - one of the decisions made by the 11 signatories at the first Commission meeting held in Japan.
“New Zealand has always supported the concept of CPTPP as an open accession agreement, having been part of the original P4 agreement alongside Brunei, Chile, and Singapore.
“It was very pleasing to see CPTPP come to fruition with its entry-into-force at the end of December. I welcome the idea that those willing to meet CPTPP’s high standards and objectives are now able to join the Agreement over time,” he said.
Parker said he did not expect formal applications in the near future, but New Zealand looked forward to continuing discussions with interested economies on the basis of these guidelines.
The Commission also confirmed the future chairing arrangements for the group.
“As Depositary for the Agreement, New Zealand will host the next set of CPTPP meetings later this year. This will be an opportunity to build on our collective commitment to ensure full and effective implementation of the Agreement and to promote its expansion over time.
“The date has not yet been set, but we expect it will be in the second half of this year to allow time for all signatories to complete their domestic ratification processes,” he added.
From 2020 the chair of the CPTPP will rotate based on the order in which members ratified, starting with Mexico followed by Japan and then Singapore. New Zealand will host again in 2023.