Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)

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The UK has formally agreed to become the first European country to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

About Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP):


  • It is a free trade agreement (FTA) between 11 nations: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
  • It was signed in March 2018.
  • It succeeded the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) after the United States withdrew from the TPP in 2017.
  • All 11 countries of CPTPP are members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). 
  • The rights and obligations under the CPTPP fall into two categories:
    • Rules: for example, on how countries should make new food safety regulations or whether they can ban the transfer of data to other CPTPP members. These are the same for all CPTPP parties (including any new members that may join).
    • Market access: how far each CPTPP member will cut its tariffs, open up its services markets, liberalise visa conditions for business travellers, and so on. Each member has its own schedules of commitments. In some cases, the commitments are offered to all other members, while in others, they are restricted to specific negotiating partners.


What is the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)?

  • It is a forum of 21 Asia-Pacific economies established in 1989.
  • Members: Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Canada; Chile; People's Republic of China; Hong Kong, China; Indonesia; Japan; Republic of Korea; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Peru; the Philippines; the Russian Federation; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; the United States of America; Vietnam.
  • It seeks to promote free trade and economic cooperation throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
  • The APEC Secretariat, headquartered in Singapore, provides advisory and logistic services as well as research and analysis.
  • APEC decisions are reached by consensus, and commitments are made on a voluntary basis.


Q1) What is a Free Trade Agreement (FTA)?

A free trade agreement is a pact between two or more nations to reduce barriers to imports and exports among them. Under a free trade policy, goods and services can be bought and sold across international borders with little or no government tariffs, quotas, subsidies, or prohibitions to inhibit their exchange.

Source: UK formally agrees to join major Indo-Pacific trade bloc, marking largest post-Brexit deal