Opening Remarks by Minister Gan Kim Yong at the Media Conference of the Sixth Meeting of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Commission

Opening Remarks by Minister Gan Kim Yong at the Media Conference of the Sixth Meeting of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Commission

Excellencies and Colleagues,

Members of the Media,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


1. Good afternoon. We have just concluded the Sixth Meeting of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) Commission.


2. On this occasion, we are happy to announce that Malaysia has completed its official ratification process of the CPTPP and will become the ninth Party to this Agreement on 29 November 2022.


Implementation Matters and New Areas of Cooperation


3. The Ministers also had fruitful exchanges on a broad range of important issues. We took stock of the steady progress that has been made over the past year in implementing the Agreement, as well as in reviewing its impact on trade and supply chains.


a. On the implementation front, we have adopted a set of non-binding Guidelines for Mutual Recognition Agreements or Arrangements (MRAs) for Professional Services. These guidelines serve to streamline and better facilitate the recognition of professionals between CPTPP Parties. They provide practical guidance for governments, relevant bodies or authorities when they enter into negotiations for mutual recognition of regulated professional services.


b. In conjunction with the CPTPP’s third year of entry into force, we have commenced the first phase of a general review of the Agreement.


i. We engaged research institutions based in the CPTPP region to conduct analytical studies to assess the impact of the Agreement on trade and investment flows in the region. Initial research findings reveal a sharp recovery of intra-CPTPP trade in goods in 2021, robust growth in intra-CPTPP digital services trade, and amplified investment flows.[1] Small-and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), employment of women and indigenous populations benefited from growth as well, and cross-border R&D activities amongst CPTPP Parties were rich and interconnected.


ii. Alongside this general review, we are also undertaking an empirical assessment of the CPTPP’s impact on regional supply chains. Members are now studying these data, and will continue discussions on how the findings can translate to policy outcomes that enhance the CPTPP’s relevance and benefits to businesses and supply chains.


4. We will continue to explore new and emerging areas of cooperation in the digital economy and the green economy.


a. On the digital economy front, we discussed areas such as digital trade facilitation, emerging technologies and data, as well as cooperation on uptake or digitalisation and data-driven tools.


b. For the green economy, we will contribute to further efforts in the possible development of initiatives that promote trade and investment in environmental goods and services, and technologies through the CPTPP.


Accession Matters


5. Finally, I would like to provide an update on the expansion of the CPTPP to aspirant economies. Discussions on the United Kingdom’s accession is on-going. As this is the first accession by an aspirant economy, it is important that we do it well and put in place the right processes, so as to uphold the CPTPP’s high standard rules and ambition, in terms of market access commitments.


6. Several other economies have expressed their interest to join the CPTPP. Even as we focus our efforts on advancing the United Kingdom’s accession process, CPTPP Members will continue efforts to address subsequent applications in accordance with the CPTPP Accession Process, in support of the Agreement’s expansion to economies that are committed to its objectives, and are able to adhere to its high standards.




7. To conclude, I would like to express my appreciation to my fellow CPTPP Ministers, and Senior Officials for their active participation during the meeting. I now open the floor to my fellow CPTPP Ministers, to deliver their remarks.


8. Thank you.


[1] Intra-CPTPP trade increased by more than 4%, to US$467 billion in the first year into CPTPP, compared with an average of US$448 billion for the 2010-2018 period. Intra-CPTPP digital services trade increased by 46% to US$51.9 billion in 2019, compared to an average of US$35.5 billion for the 2010-2018 period. CPTPP Parties recorded substantial FDI inflows, which increased by 10% from US$267 billion in 2018 to US$294 billion in 2019.

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