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The CPTPP Expansion from a Peruvian Perspective

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Participation with the talk “The CPTPP Expansion from a Peruvian Perspective” in the webinar “The CPTPP Expansion in New Asian Regionalism” organized by the Centre for Commercial Law in Asia (“CCLA”) of the Singapore Management University (“SMU”) Yong Pung How School of Law.







The CPTPP Expansion in New Asian Regionalism

Introduction

On 15 July 2022, the Centre for Commercial Law in Asia (“CCLA”) of the Singapore Management University (“SMU”) Yong Pung How School of Law organised and hosted a webinar on “The CPTPP Expansion in New Asian Regionalism”. Supported by the Korea Foundation and the EU Jean Monnet Chair Programme, this webinar sought to provide insight into the CPTPP accession process along with economic and legal challenges confronting aspirant economies. Invited speakers hailed from different parts of the world and made insightful observations about the potential implications of the expanded CPTPP for new Asian regionalism and global trade governance.

The webinar commenced with welcome remarks by Professor Lee Pey Woan (Dean, SMU Yong Pung How School of Law), followed by opening remarks delivered by H.E. Ambassador Jun Yamazaki (Embassy of Japan in Singapore) and Representative Francis Kuo-Hsin Liang (Taipei Representative Office in Singapore).

Ambassador Yamazaki first affirmed the potential of the CPTPP to create a free and fair economic order for the region and the world, where one could expect healthy competition and partnership to flourish once the common rules embedded in the CPTPP were fully implemented. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, Ambassador Yamazaki emphasised that it is important for countries to renew their determination to maintain the free and fair economic order that they have painstakingly built, without resorting to protectionism or inward-looking world-views. Ambassador Yamazaki finally stressed that the CPTPP’s spirit and principles must be upheld in all circumstances, including its zero-tolerance towards economic coercion and unfair trade practices.

Representative Liang then shared Taiwan’s perspective on the CPTPP and the importance of Taiwan’s participation in this agreement. He opined that the expansion of the CPTPP is a concrete expression of the will of its current members and aspirant economies to safeguard a rule-based global trade regime. Representative Liang also mentioned that Taiwan has submitted its application for CPTPP membership in September 2021, and is committed to joining the high-standard agreement. In preparation for its accession to the CPTPP, Taiwan has implemented wide-ranging adjustments to its economic and trade policies in a bid to align with the CPTPP’s provisions. He concluded that as the world places greater importance on building an open and inclusive trade regime based on high standards and shared values, the CPTPP will continue to be relevant and beneficial not only to regional economic integration but also to world trade and the global economy.

The session proceeded with a panel discussion on the CPTPP moderated by Professor Pasha Hsieh (Jean Monnet Chair in EU-ASEAN Law and Relations, SMU Yong Pung How School of Law).

The CPTPP Expansion from a Peruvian Perspective

Ms Andrea Bulnes Acevedo (Trade Official, Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism of Peru) kicked off the discussion with a brief introduction to Peruvian foreign trade. She highlighted that Peru’s trade with Asia has grown considerably over the last few decades, with many countries in Asia currently forming the leading export destinations for Peruvian goods. Peru has also become the 8th country to ratify the CPTPP, which entered into force for Peru on 19 September 2021.

Ms Bulnes Acevedo then proceeded to discuss the importance of the CPTPP’s expansion. She noted that the CPTPP is a rules-based agreement that would strengthen the international trading system once more countries decide to ratify it and comply with its high-standard provisions. Expanding the CPTPP would also motivate those signatories for which the CPTPP has yet to enter into force to ratify the agreement as soon as possible. However, Ms Bulnes Acevedo cautioned that potential applicants such as China may face challenges in meeting the high-standard provisions relating to e-commerce and state-owned enterprises (SOEs), which would delay their accession process.

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