It is just over a year since we left the European Union and in that time the government has successfully negotiated numerous free trade agreements and to cement the success, the UK has now formally applied to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). It’s worth 13% of the world's income, a partnership worth over £9 trillion.
The UK’s accession would increase CPTPP’s combined GDP from £9 trillion to £11 trillion. Last year, trade between the UK and the 11 member countries was worth more than £111 billion and has grown on average at 8% each year since 2016.
As the Prime Ministers Trade Envoy to Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam I am particularly interested in the opportunities this partnership could present. Despite the Coronavirus, Vietnam has continued to grow by 3% so far and will be one of the few countries in the world to do so. By joining the CPTPP it would strengthen our economies and help us in our ambition to build back stronger. We would be joining some of the fastest-growing economies in the world.
It would open up new markets to our allies, including Australia and New Zealand, encouraging investment, creating jobs and giving businesses the tools and freedom to succeed.
Here in South Derbyshire, we have numerous businesses that export globally and we are right on the doorstep of East Midlands and Birmingham Airport, helping to open the door and facilitate trade.
Now is the time to explore our potential, reach out to the global economy and strive to succeed.