Senior trade officials representing New Zealand, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, the United Kingdom and Viet Nam met virtually on 4 October for the fourth CPTPP Senior Officials Meeting (SOM4) of 2023, hosted by New Zealand.
The original CPTPP Members welcomed the United Kingdom to its first officials-level meeting after the signing of the UK’s accession protocol at the Commission in July. Members looked forward to the UK’s active participation moving forward.
The focus of SOM4 was progressing a Terms of Reference for the CPTPP General Review and the Joint Ministerial Statement the CPTPP Ministers would release at the conclusion of the Ministerial meeting in San Francisco in the margins of APEC Leaders’ week. New Zealand also announced plans for a “CPTPP Business Dialogue” that would use the convening power of APEC to give businesses from CPTPP economies a chance to raise issues of importance directly with CPTPP Ministers.
SOM4 closed with Members reaffirming that they would continue their work in developing a process for future accessions that is efficient, fair, and attractive to aspirant economies, and informed by lessons learned from the United Kingdom’s accession.
The meeting was followed by a stakeholder engagement sessions with representatives from business, unions and trade advocacy groups, Māori groups, academics and media, to hear a high-level summary of what we discussed and have the opportunity for Q&A.
The next CPTPP Senior Officials Meeting will take place in person on 11-12 December in Queenstown.