Deputy Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee said at a forum in Seoul on July 18 that the South Korean government will effectively communicate with related organizations to strategically examine its accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which accounts for 13.9% of the global total GDP.
The CPTPP was launched in March this year, led by Japan. Its founding members are Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei.
Earlier, the South Korean government was planning to decide whether to join it before the end of the first half of this year. Last month, however, it postponed the decision to gather more opinions.
The forum was attended by officials from the Ministries of Strategy & Finance, SMEs & Startups, Oceans & Fisheries, and Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs along with agencies such as the Korea International Trade Association, the Korea Chamber of Commerce & Industry, the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy, and the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics & Trade.
At the forum, the participants said that the government needs to strategically and proactively examine its accession to the CPTPP so that South Korean companies can diversify their markets and further stabilize their trade and investment environments amid trade protectionism. The government is going to hold multiple meetings in various industries to gather more opinions concerning the matter.