Taiwan to continue CPTPP efforts: Economics Minister

Ministerial meeting in Japan next January could decide on new members

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The signing ceremony for the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership last March.

The signing ceremony for the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership last March. (By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - Taiwan will continue its efforts to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), hoping for results when ministers of its 11 members meet in January, Economics Minister Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) said Thursday.

After the Trump Administration decided the United States would not join the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the trade group was renamed the CPTPP, with 11 countries indicating they would form the new body together. Its first ministerial-level meeting will take place in Japan next January, after the partnership comes into force.

Shen said Taiwan was continuing to propagate its intention to become a member of the CPTPP through the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum and through its overseas representative offices, as the January meeting might offer clarity on who would be allowed to join, the Central News Agency reported.

A CPTPP meeting of top negotiators in Tokyo on November 21 and 22 reportedly decided to form a special taskforce which would discuss membership applications.

When APEC met in Papua New Guinea last week, the Taiwanese delegation already expressed its eagerness to join CPTPP and explained the preparations the island had made, Shen said.

However, the new body’s ministerial meeting in January would have to decide on the rules for new membership, allowing Taiwan to know where it stood, according to the Economics Minister.