Singapore has expressed support for Japan ’s early participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, as member countries concluded bilateral consultations with Tokyo.

"We are confident that Japan will be a valuable partner in the development of a high quality agreement to spur economic growth across the Asia-Pacific region,” Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Trade and Industry said in a joint statement on April 21.

According to the statement, as the world’s third largest economy, Japan’s inclusion has further raised the strategic and economic significance of the TPP and reinforced the agreement’s strategic vision of advancing regional economic integration and promoting regional development and stability.

Earlier, trade ministers of Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States and Vietnam discussed the status of their discussions with Japan on its interest in joining the TPP.

The discussion took place on the margins of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting of Ministers Responsible for Trade in Indonesia on April 20.

The ministers confirmed that each TPP member has concluded bilateral consultations with Tokyo regarding Japan ’s interest in joining the TPP. They agreed by consensus to finalize with Japan the process for entry in a manner that allows the negotiations to continue expeditiously toward conclusion – as was done with other members that joined the negotiations in progress.

With Japan’s entry, TPP countries would account for nearly 40 percent of global GDP and about one-third of all world trade.-VNA