After five years of intensive negotiations and a marathon final session of talks, trade ministers of 12 Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) member states yesterday reached a final consensus on the world’s largest free trade agreement.
|Trade ministers of TPP member states__Photo: VNA|
Their meeting was scheduled from September 30 to October 1, but later extended to October 5.
They settled three major differences on lifting technical barriers on automobile spare parts imported into North America, opening Canada’s and the United States of America’s markets for New Zealand dairy products, and time limit for exclusive protection of new-generation bio-pharmaceuticals, paving the way for the historic agreement to be reached.
“We are delighted to have come to an agreement that will create jobs, drive sustainable growth, foster inclusive development, and promote innovation across the Asia Pacific Region for the interests of all people”, said the ministers.
The TPP represents about 40 percent of the global gross domestic product and a population of 800 million people. The deal must be officially signed by the participants and be approved by the government and national assembly of each member state before taking effect.
Started out as P-4 by Chile, New Zealand, Singapore and Mexico, the TPP was joined by the US in September 2008 and Vietnam by early 2009.
Up to date, 12 countries have participated in the trade deal, including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the US and Vietnam.- (VLLF)