Taiwan requests Japan's assistance to join CPTPP at trade meeting that concluded today

Japanese delegates said the country has expressed willingness for Taiwan to join numerous times

Chiu I-ren (left) and Mitsuo Ohashi (right) led bilateral trade talks that concluded today

Chiu I-ren (left) and Mitsuo Ohashi (right) led bilateral trade talks that concluded today (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — At an annual trade meeting today (Nov. 30), Taiwan delegates once again requested Japan’s assistance in joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Today marked the conclusion of the 43rd Taiwan-Japan Economic and Trade Conference. The meeting was chaired on Taiwan’s side by Chiu I-ren (邱義仁), president of the Taiwan-Japan Relations Association (TJRA). Mitsuo Ohashi, chairman of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, led the Japanese side of talks.

According to UDN, both delegates signed a “quality enterprise mutual recognition agreement”, which contained a memorandum on cooperation over the quality management systems of medical equipment, one on mutual cooperation on information exchange, and one on collaborative support for small and medium businesses.

At a press conference after the event, TJRA Secretary-General Chang Shu-ling (張淑玲) said Taiwan had the opportunity to express its desire to join the CPTPP through numerous channels, requesting more direct assistance from Japan as well as increased information exchange.

She added that the Japanese side realizes Taiwan’s hopes, and said they have numerous times expressed their willingness for Taiwan to join the CPTPP.

The CPTPP takes effect next January, after which a ministerial meeting will be held in Japan to discuss the potential accession of new members. Taiwan has avidly demonstrated its keenness to be a part of the agreement, making multiple bids to partners over the course of the year.

The CPTPP aims at establishing a new trade bloc across the Pacific Ocean for the purpose of eliminating tariffs and non-tariff trade barriers between participant countries. As well as the exchange of goods and services, provisions within the pact cover a wide variety of things including labor, the environment and government procurement.

Originally known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the U.S. pulled out in 2017, leading the agreement to be revised. The 11 countries signatory to the pact are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.