Seoul, Dec 13 (EFE).- South Korea has started the process to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the country’s finance minister announced Monday.
“The government is trying to collect public opinions and social discussions on the CPTPP accession,” Hong Nam-ki said during a government meeting, according to Yonhap news agency.
South Korea has been “actively” reviewing joining the agreement as part of its efforts to expand mega free-trade agreements (FTAs) in the Asia-Pacific region, he added.
Seoul is also preparing to resume FTA talks with Mexico and the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, according to the minister.
The CPTPP would require a significant opening of internal markets, a sensitive matter in the Asian country, where the agricultural sector is opposed to the government’s bid fearing it will adversely affect farmers.
The CPTPP has 11 signatory countries, including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
It is the renegotiated version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), led by the former United States President Barack Obama’s administration and later killed off by his successor, Donald Trump.
Eight countries – Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam – have already ratified the agreement, which was approved in 2018.
South Korea’s announcement comes just three months after China and Taiwan began processes to join the CPTPP. EFE