Dominic Raab will today start trade talks about joining a free trade area in the Asia-Pacific region, which would grant the UK access to some of the biggest economies in the world.
The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is made up of 11 nations including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
The trade area covers a market of around 500 million people and would see reduced tariffs on exports like cars and whiskey, while helping British farmers sell beef and lamb to CPTPP countries, the government said.
Raab landed in Hanoi, Vietnam earlier in the week ahead of the trade talks beginning today.
According to reports, trade secretary Liz Truss said a CPTPP membership would be a “glittering post-Brexit prize” for the UK.
“This part of the world is where Britain’s greatest opportunities lie. We left the EU with the promise of deepening links with old allies and fast-growing consumer markets beyond Europe, and joining the high-standards trans-Pacific Partnership is an important part of that vision.”
City of London Corporation policy chair Catherine McGuinness said:
“Membership of the CPTPP brings potentially greater access for UK firms to fast-growing markets. We welcome the opportunity to focus on the services, data and digital, and investment elements specifically. Removing barriers to trade in these areas would be not only good news for firms and consumers, but could help support wider global goals including a swift recovery from COVID and the race to net zero.
“As always however the devil will be in the detail of the final agreement, and we look forward to feeding into these negotiations as they progress.”