Buenos Aires (VNA) – Colombia has officially requested for permission to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), said Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo.

Guajardo unveiled the information at the 19th Pacific Alliance Council of Ministers Meeting on June 15, stressing that the participation of Colombia, a member of the Pacific Alliance, will help connect the two trade blocs.

After the US withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the predecessor of the CPTPP, in 2017, the remaining 11 countries - Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam - agreed to maintain the deal and rename it CPTPP.

CPTPP was inked on March 8, 2018, setting high criteria in numerous fields, including labour, the environment, intellectual property, digital economy and cyber security. Twenty-two provisions of the CPTPP, including sensitive ones related to intellectual property, were suspended or changed in comparison to the TPP.

The deal will create one of the world’s largest free trade blocs with a combined market of 499 million people and GDP of around 10.1 trillion USD, accounting for 13.5 percent of the global GDP.-VNA