China steps up talk of joining CPTPP

China has sent fresh signals it is seriously considering the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), as part of the Asian giant’s new drive to boost further trade integration. The CPTPP came into effect in late 2019, and comprises 11 countries including Australia, Canada, Japan and Mexico. It succeeded the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which former US President Donald Trump withdrew his country from in 2017. Presenting China’s annual government work report on March 5, Premier Li Keqiang said the world’s second-largest economy “will actively consider joining” the agreement. This year’s report, which sets out general guidelines for China’s policies for 2021, has a strong focus on broadening the country’s opening-up policies and increasing international economic cooperation. Li’s remarks come a month after Beijing’s commerce ministry said at a press conference that it is actively looking into accession to the trade pact in order to foster what it calls a new development paradigm, adding that it is “willing to enhance technical exchanges and communication with all CPTPP members”.  China already has bilateral free trade deals with several of the agreement’s signatories, and late last year wrapped up the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which covers the 10 Asean member… continue reading

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Source: CTRM Center

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