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Britain agrees to join trans-Pacific trade pact

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-03-31 13:28

Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak [Photo/Agencies]

LONDON - Britain has decided to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced Friday.

This is its biggest trade deal since Brexit following 21 months of negotiations.

Britain will be the first new member since the creation of the CPTPP in 2018, and the first European country in the bloc.

"Joining the CPTPP trade bloc puts the UK at the center of a dynamic and growing group of Pacific economies," said Sunak. "British businesses will now enjoy unparalleled access to markets from Europe to the south Pacific."

The trade grouping, a huge trade bloc in the Indo-Pacific which will now have a total GDP of 11 trillion pounds (13.65 trillion U.S. dollars), will include more than 500 million people and account for 15 percent of global GDP once Britain becomes its 12th member, according to Sunak's office.

Membership will "support jobs and create opportunities for companies of all sizes and in all parts of the UK," Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch said.

The deal will grant "British businesses improved access to the countries that will be gateway to the wider Indo-Pacific region which is projected to make up the majority of global growth in the future," he said.

Members of the CPTPP are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

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