Kuala Lumpur: The United Kingdom has concluded trade talks with member countries of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), as announced today.

The CPTPP consists of 11 Pacific nations, including Malaysia, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. The bloc has a population of over 500 million people and a total GDP of RM60 trillion, which will increase once the UK joins.

The UK's move to cut duties on palm oil, expected as it seeks entry to CPTPP, has raised concerns among green campaigners.

However, the UK government’s plan to eliminate tariffs on palm oil from Malaysia is just one of the many opportunities that both countries are looking forward to as they seek to deepen trade ties through the CPTPP.

Malaysia, one of the pact's participating countries, has requested that the UK cut its palm oil tariffs from the current level of 12 per cent to zero, immediately upon entry to the bloc.

The negotiations between the UK and Malaysia, which began in June 2021, concluded after a round of talks in Vietnam with representation from all CPTPP member nations.

The British High Commissioner to Malaysia, Charles Hay when speaking at an exclusive interview with Astro AWANI said that this is just the beginning of trade concessions and improvements of the two nations.

“Trade talks would see concessions being made by all parties involved. That is why these trade talks are hard. But it is important that this is needed to grow our economies further,” said Hay.

Through this accession, increased trade between the UK and Malaysia, supported by the removal of barriers to trade – such as the import tariffs on Malaysian palm oil – could support further growth and contribute to the technical prosperity of both countries.

According to Hay, talent movement, culture, education, and mobility will also see a significant upside between Malaysians and British citizens following the UK's eventual entry into the CPTPP,

The UK is the first European country to join the trade bloc and the first new member to do so since the CPTPP was created, taking it from a Pacific agreement to a global one.

CPTPP is one of the largest free trade areas in the world, accounting for 21 per cent of global GDP in 2021, which would rise to 15 per cent with the UK's accession, adding substantial value to this huge free trade area.