Most of the 11 nations that are part of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) have responded positively to Taiwan’s bid to join the trade initiative, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.
“The responses we have received thus far are relatively positive. The Japanese government has expressed its support for Taiwan’s bid and the reactions from other member nations are not very far from it,” Department of International Cooperation and Economic Affairs Director Lee Sing-ying (李新穎) told a news conference in Taipei.
Although different nations have a different tone, most of them have reacted positively to Taipei’s bid, he added.
Following the US’ withdrawal in January last year from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the 11 remaining countries last month concluded discussions on the new Japan-led CPTPP and are expected to sign the agreement in Chile next month.
In an effort to facilitate the nation’s bid, Lee said that several government agencies are conducting a comprehensive review of local regulations, while its overseas representative offices are gathering information on the respective pledges made by the member nations.
It takes about one year for the CPTPP to take effect and start accepting new members, which could either be as a nation or a separate customs territory, Lee said, adding that the ministry would continue to approach concerned nations and economies to garner support.
Asked about the possible China factor, Lee said that Beijing’s focus is the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and it currently has no plans to join the CPTPP.
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