Member nations of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership on Wednesday officially agreed to allow the UK to start the joining process.
Japan’s economy minister, Yasutoshi Nishimura, told reporters that he welcomed the UK to the start of the process after holding a meeting with the 10 other countries who are already members of the pact.
“I think there’s a big meaning to this from a strategic viewpoint of strengthening economic relations between Japan and the United Kingdom,” Nishimura said.
“The commencement of an accession process with the United Kingdom and the potential expansion of the CPTPP will send a strong signal to our trading partners around the world,” the 11 member countries said in a statement.
Britain made its formal request to join in February in a move to seek for new options for post-Brexit trade and influence.
The CPTPP covers a market with more than 550.0m people and removes 95% of tariffs between members: Japan, Canada, Australia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Singapore, Mexico, Peru, Brunei, Chile and Malaysia.
The UK is not expected to become a member of the TPP until 2022 at the earliest.