At the end of last week, the Business and Trade Secretary signed the treaty for the UK to accede to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in New Zealand. 

In summary, the Indo-Pacific trade bloc is now worth £12 trillion in GDP, spanning 12 economies and the Government published figures to show that CPTPP-owned businesses employed one in 100 UK workers, equating to 400,000 jobs and membership is now expected to increase investment in the UK.  It will mean that 99% of current exports to CPTPP member countries will be eligible for zero tariffs. 

In addition, it was reported that CPTPP investment accounted for:

  • Over £240 billion in turnover in London, £35 billion in the South East and £18 billion in the East of England
  • The creation of 26,000 jobs in 2021 and 2022
  • 75% of all employment in CPTPP-owned businesses outside of London
  • One in 50 jobs in the North East
  • One in every 25 jobs in the manufacturing sector

The UK will be the first European CPTPP member and first member since it was created and this has been described as ‘a significant milestone for UK trade’.  The Government will now take steps to bring the agreement into force, expected to be next year.

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