Singapore has formally approved the United Kingdom’s accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), marking it as the second current member to endorse the UK’s membership following Japan’s approval last year.

The UK became a part of the extensive Indo-Pacific trade group in July 2023, enhancing the group’s total value to £12 trillion, which represents 15% of the global GDP. As part of the agreement, more than 99% of UK goods exports to CPTPP nations will be exempt from tariffs, benefiting products like British whisky and automobiles.

This step will also enhance the bilateral relationship between the UK and Singapore, opening avenues to deepen engagement in each other’s supply chains, broaden trade, increase investment in both economies, and collaborate on mutual priorities. This move supports wider access and opportunities for businesses.

British High Commissioner to Singapore, Kara Owen, said, “It is great to see Singapore ratify the UK’s accession to CPTPP, taking us a step closer to UK business accessing the benefits of the agreement. Accession will connect the UK to a group of economies that are the most dynamic and ambitious on free trade. It provides opportunities for our business to build on the strong £21 billion bilateral trade relationship with Singapore.”

We look forward to growing our trading partnerships with all members through the ambitious liberalisation commitments, enabling new rules of origin arrangements and opportunities for investment and collaboration.

Martin Kent, His Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Asia Pacific, said, “I’m delighted that Singapore has ratified the UK’s accession to CPTPP. UK accession to CPTPP highlights our commitment to deepening our £124bn trade relationship across the Asia Pacific, one of the most dynamic and fast-growing trading areas in the world. I look forward to working with partners across the region to help businesses make the most of the CPTPP.”

To bring the deal into force for the UK, the government has introduced the Trade (CPTPP) Bill in parliament. Entry into force is expected in the second half of 2024 once the UK and CPTPP Parties have finished their legislative processes.