2nd CPTPP Commission Meeting, Auckland, 9 October 2019 - Concluding Joint Statement - Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)
Senior Officials and delegations representing Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Viet Nam met in Auckland, New Zealand, 7-9 October, for the second meeting of the CPTPP Commission and associated CPTPP Committees.
At a time when the rules-based international trading system is undergoing a period of stress, the task of implementation to deliver on one of the world’s newest, most comprehensive and ambitious trade agreements is fundamentally important. Following its entry into force in December 2018, the meetings in Auckland heralded the next stage in the evolution of the CPTPP.
Alongside the Commission, the following Committees met for the first time in Auckland: Trade in Goods; Rules of Origin; Agricultural Trade; Technical Barriers to Trade; Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures; Small and Medium Sized Enterprises; State Owned Enterprises; Development; Cooperation and Capacity Building; Competitiveness and Business Facilitation; Environment; and the Labour Council.
Discussions in the Committees and the Commission centred on monitoring and ensuring the full and proper implementation of the Agreement, in order to deliver effectively on the outcomes negotiated by members. The Auckland meetings also focused on establishing and tracking progress in the work programmes foreshadowed under the Agreement. This included identifying areas for cooperation between CPTPP members to advance the objectives in respective chapters.
Senior Officials received an update on progress in ratification from those signatories still in the process of undertaking their domestic processes and expressed their support and encouragement for efforts to have the Agreement enter into force for all signatories as soon as possible.
Noting the decision at the first CPTPP Commission in January on procedures for accession, Senior Officials also welcomed the continued interest shown by other economies in possible accession to the CPTPP and reaffirmed the interest CPTPP members have in expanding the Agreement over time through the accession of those economies willing to meet the CPTPP’s high standards.
The Commission also set in train arrangements for the remaining institutional bodies yet to meet, and tasked experts to consider the data that would be valuable to gather and share in order to understand better the contribution the CPTPP can make to economic partnership among its members over time.
The Commission adopted two formal decisions, (i) on its Rules of Procedure under Article 27.4 and (ii) to establish a Roster of Panel Chairs as provided for under Article 28.11.
A first Environment Public Forum, focused on the topic of Oceans and Marine Environment, was held alongside the Auckland meetings. It provided an opportunity for interested civil society groups, including non-governmental organisations, the scientific and business communities to engage on matters relevant to the work of the Environment Committee. A workshop was also held with
representatives of small and medium sized (SME) enterprises to promote dialogue on ways in which trade agreements can address the particular issues faced by SMEs in international trade.
The next CPTPP Commission and associated meetings will take place in Mexico in mid-2020.
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