The 7th CPTPP Ministerial Commission Meeting in Auckland Tāmaki Makaurau on 16 July was largest international meeting that New Zealand had hosted since the pandemic and the first at which all of the original CPTPP signatories could participate as Parties to the Agreement.
The centrepiece of the Commission Meeting was the United Kingdom becoming the first economy to formally accede to the Agreement.
The Commission Meeting approved the terms and conditions of the UK’s accession to CPTPP and discussed the Accession Working Group Report.
Members acknowledged the role that Japan, as Chair of the UK Accession Working Group, had played in reaching this point, alongside Vice Chairs Singapore and Australia.
Following this, the meeting broke for an official signing ceremony of the UK Accession Protocol. New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins formally welcomed the UK to CPTPP and delivered the opening address.
When the Commission Meeting resumed the UK joined the meeting as a Member of CPTPP.
The Chair of the Senior Officials’ Meeting provided the Commission with an update on the work progressed under New Zealand’s 2023 Chairing, with a focus on E-commerce and the Green Economy and work on the CPPP General Review.
The Commission discussed Inclusive and Sustainable Trade and heard a report from the Indigenous Hui held at the University of Waikato presented by Dr Jason Mika and Moana Maniapoto.
The Commission noted the continued and growing interest from economies to join the CPTPP, which demonstrates the strength and value of the Agreement. Members reaffirmed that the CPTPP is open to accession requests by economies that are ready to meet the high standards of the Agreement and with a demonstrated pattern of complying with their trade commitments, so that the benefits to the CPTPP membership can continue to grow through the accession process.
Ministers agreed to establish an ad-hoc working group under Chapter 5 of the Agreement which aims to cut the red-tape for businesses operating under the CPTPP.
The Commission meeting was followed by a press conference and stakeholder engagement session hosted by Ministers O’Connor and Tirikatene.