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South Korea decides to join CPTPP

According to Yonhap News Agency, on April 15, South Korea’s economic ministers’ meeting approved South Korea’s plan to join the CPTPP.

The government will complete domestic procedures, including reporting to Congress, before formally submitting an application to join before President Moon Jae-in resigns on May 9. After that, the government of President-elect Yoon Si-yeol will continue the process of accession negotiations.

South Korea decides to join CPTPP - Figure 1

Representation of CPTPP economies in Chile, March 2018


Minister of Industry and Commerce Yang Hanju said that joining the CPTPP is of great significance and will help South Korea better cope with the ever-changing global situation and ensure the stability of the supply chain in the Asia-Pacific region.

South Korea’s Ministry of Commerce announced that the government has carefully considered joining the CPTPP for the past eight years and made its decision after considering economic and strategic value.

The Korea Institute for International Economic Policy estimates that membership will boost South Korea’s trade and investment, boosting GDP by 0.33% to 0.35%.

The predecessor of CPTPP was the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). While initially playing a central role in the creation of the TPP, the United States announced its withdrawal from the agreement in 2017.

In December 2018, the remaining 11 members of the TPP, including Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Japan, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and Australia, established the CPTPP. CPTPP members account for around 15% of total global trade in 2020.

In addition to South Korea, Taiwan, Ecuador and China have applied to join the CPTPP, while the UK has started a dialogue process to join.