Reacting to the signing of the Accession Protocol, paving the way for the UK’s accession to the CPTPP in 2024, William Bain, Head of Trade Policy at the BCC, said:

“The forthcoming addition of the UK to this trading bloc takes it to 12 countries which accounts for 15% of global economic output.

“It will open up new opportunities for our businesses in both inward and external investment with the other 11 countries from the second half of next year.

“The UK has bilateral trading terms negotiated with nine of the eleven current members, but no agreements had been reached with Malaysia and Brunei, so the new terms will be of particular interest for traders in these markets.

“There are not many multi-national trade agreements like this one, and it offers new prospects in a fast-growing region of the global economy.

“We see particular relevance for small and medium sized businesses in reduced costs to import components from member countries to use in manufactured goods for export.

“There are also generous terms for data flows which underpin an increasing part of international trade.

“We will be scrutinising the Accession Protocol in detail on its publication in the next few days. But accession will be good news for UK businesses to enter or upscale their trade in these markets, with increased confidence and more generous trading terms.

“We look forward to working with the UK Government, and others, to ensure firms get the best possible access to this thriving market within the global trade system.”

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