Britain has sealed a historic agreement to join a large-scale Indo-Pacific trading bloc after nearly two years of intense negotiations.
The government said in a statement that it would join the comprehensive agreement that includes 11 members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, opening the door for British goods and products to reach a region with a gross domestic product of about 11 trillion pounds ($ 13.6 trillion).
She added that this trade deal is the largest for London since Britain’s exit from the European Union (Brexit) and makes it the first European country to join the CPTPP, since its entry into force in 2018.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak hailed the deal and said it puts the UK at the center of a dynamic and growing group of Pacific economies.
“We are at heart an open, free-trade nation, and this deal demonstrates the real economic benefits of our post-Brexit freedoms. British businesses will now enjoy unparalleled access to markets from Europe to the South Pacific,” he said in a statement.
The trade bloc spans Canada, Mexico, Japan, Australia, Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia, among others, and the agreement is expected to be formally signed by the end of this year, after final approval from parliament and the 11 member states.