Is there a Britain Indo-Pacific trade deal on the cards?

If a Britain Indo-Pacific trade deal materialises in the next couple of days, it could see the UK joining forces with 11 members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Together, these countries have access to a $10 trillion market.



As the economy pivots away from the European Union (EU), it seems that an agreement could officially be declared regarding a Britain Indo-Pacific trade deal. Joining Japan, Australia, Canada and more members, the UK is expected to become the first non-founding member of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

11 members of the CPTPP, including Japan, are expected to reach broad agreement with the United Kingdom on its membership.

Possible benefits of a Britain Indo-Pacific trade deal

The result of this significant post-Brexit coup is to hopefully give businesses easier access to millions of middle-class consumers that form a market of over $10 trillion market. Not only could this boost the British economy but the pact also reassures individuals of Britain’s determination to reposition itself in the global economy.

Did you know that the combined GDP of the participating CPTPP countries represent 40 per cent of the global GDP?

What the experts are saying

Shanker Singham, a former trade adviser to the Government, explained that once Britain has joined the CPTPP, it would have an equal economic weight to the European Union.

Stephanie Rickard, professor of political science at the London School of Economics, said:

“The UK is trailblazing. This is changing the agreement from being a regional agreement to a global agreement.”

“It clearly makes sense for the UK to position itself in what is likely to be the most dynamic part of the global economy – not just in terms of the countries currently in that region, but also the potential in terms of others during this trading bloc in the future,” economist and former advisor to Boris Johnson, Gerard Lyons.

UK post-Brexit trade agreements

Other trade blocs that are currently shifting the focus of the UK trade away from Europe include the UK-Pacific economic partnership agreement (EPA), the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) trade bloc, UK-Central America association agreement, the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) trade bloc, the Southern African Customs Union member states and Mozambique (SACUM) trade bloc and individual countries such as Ghana, Singapore and Switzerland.

More about the CARIFORUM trade block

Signed in October 2009, the CARIFORUM-EU EPA is more than just a trade in goods agreement.

The agreement includes the following commitments: 
  • Trades in services
  • Investment
  • Competition policies
  • Government procurement
  • Intellectual property rights and
  • Sustainable development aspects.
The aim of the CARIFORUM trade block agreement is to:
  1. Ensure that the regions successfully trade and invest with each other
  2. Ensure duty-free-quota-free market access into the EU for all products.
  3. Provide predictable market access for Caribbean traders and the EU.
  4.  Slowly open the EU market as well as the Caribbean market for EU service providers in the services, creative and entertainment industries.
  5. Provides regional preference clause for trade within the Caribbean region, fostering regional integration and regional value chains.

The Agreement also includes a separate Protocol on Cultural Cooperation. This aims to improve the conditions governing the exchange of goods and services as well as cultural activities between CARIFORUM countries and the EU.

Did you know? The CARIFORUM-EU EPA is the first trade agreement in which the EU specifically included comprehensive provisions on culture.

Countries covered by the CARIFORUM-EU EPA:

Sources say that an agreement could be reached as early as Friday 31 March 2023.