Trade Minister Tim Groser has welcomed today’s announcement by Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda that Japan will seek to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiation.
“Japan is a giant in world trade and economic affairs,” Mr Groser said.
“Having Japan join the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a group committed to free trade and closer integration of Asia-Pacific economies, would be of immense significance.
“At a time of uncertainty in the global economy this announcement sends a strong positive message,” he added.
Mr Noda said in Tokyo on 11 November that Japan wished to begin discussions with TPP countries with a view to joining the negotiation. Mr Groser said he planned to follow this up in Honolulu with his Japanese counterpart, Yukio Edano.
“We now need to begin a careful discussion about what Japan’s participation in the TPP negotiation would involve”, Mr Groser said. “New Zealand is strongly committed to the vision of TPP as a comprehensive and high-quality agreement.”
Mr Groser said that TPP Ministers would be reporting to their Leaders on membership and other issues ahead of the meeting of TPP Leaders planned for 12 November in Honolulu. The Deputy Prime Minister, Hon Bill English, will be representing New Zealand at the meeting of TPP Leaders.
Japan is the world’s third largest economy with 2010 nominal GDP of US$5.5 trillion
Japan is New Zealand’s fourth largest export market, taking NZ$3.4 billion in New Zealand exports in 2010.
The TPP group currently comprises nine countries: Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Viet Nam.