14:13 GMT28 February 2021
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    LONDON (Sputnik) - The United Kingdom's international trade department has announced that the country is officially requesting to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

    "The UK is formally applying to join one of the world’s largest free-trade areas, deepening trade ties with some of the fastest-growing markets in the world," the department said in a statement.

    According to the statement, the announcement coincides with the one-year anniversary of the UK withdrawing from the European Union.

    "International Trade Secretary Liz Truss will speak to ministers in Japan and New Zealand on Monday morning (1 February 2021) to request to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), with formal negotiations set to start this year," the statement added.

    After the UK officially left the EU on 31 January it has been working to secure free trade deals with various countries.

    The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership is a free trade agreement that lowered tariffs and other trade barriers on a wide range of products among 10 countries of Asia and Oceania, and Canada. The agreement came into force on December 30, 2018, when its first six parties ratified the deal. Initially, the trade deal was expected to cover 40 percent of the global economy but failed to achieve it as the United States withdrew from the agreement in 2017.

    Tags:
    trade, deal, United Kingdom, Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)
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