Illustrative image (Source: EPA)

 Hanoi (VNA) - Ministers and vice ministers from Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Malaysia, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam met in Hanoi on May 21 to discuss the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement on the margins of the 23rd Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT 23).

The ministers reaffirmed the balanced outcome and the strategic and economic significance of the TPP highlighting its principles and high standards as a way to promote regional economic integration, contribute positively to the economic growth prospects of its member countries, and create new opportunities for workers, families, farmers, businesses and consumers.

The ministers agreed on the value of realising the TPP’s benefits and to that end, they agreed to launch a process to assess options to bring the comprehensive, high quality agreement into force expeditiously, including how to facilitate membership for the original signatories.

The ministers tasked their senior trade officials to engage to take forward the preparation of this assessment. The ministers asked for this work to be completed before they meet on the margins of the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting on November 10-11, 2017 in Vietnam’s central city of Da Nang.

The ministers also underlined their vision for the TPP to expand to include other economies that can accept the high standards of the TPP.

These efforts would address the concern about protectionism, contribute to maintaining open markets, strengthening the rules-based international trading system, increasing world trade, and raising living standards.-VNA