Trade Minister Craig Emerson today announced that Australia had joined the 10 other existing parties in inviting Japan to join the negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
"I look forward to Japan joining the negotiations and working with Australia and our TPP partners to conclude a comprehensive and ambitious regional free trade agreement," Dr Emerson said.
Dr Emerson made the announcement from Surabaya, Indonesia, where he is attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Trade Ministers' meeting.
TPP Ministers met in the margins of the APEC meeting to review progress in the negotiations and to discuss Japan's interest in becoming the 12th member of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Following the meeting, Ministers issued a statement inviting Japan to join the TPP.
Having formally accepted the invitation, Japan will be able to participate in the TPP negotiations once all existing members have concluded their respective domestic processes.
With Japan joining the negotiations, TPP countries would account for nearly 40 per cent of global GDP, almost one-third of global trade and almost 35 per cent of Australia's total two-way trade.
The TPP has the potential to form a basis for free trade across the Asia-Pacific region and will contribute to Australia's efforts to achieve global trade liberalisation.
Dr Emerson also met with the Japanese Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry Mr Toshimitsu Motegi for talks on progress on bilateral free trade agreement negotiations.
The two Ministers agreed that the momentum of the negotiations for a free trade agreement between Australia and Japan would be maintained.
- Minister's Office: (02) 6277 4330
- DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555