BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – Brunei has ratified the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), five years after signing the wide-ranging trade deal.

The Ministry of Finance and Economy released a statement Sunday saying it had notified New Zealand, which serves as depositary for CPTPP documents, of Brunei’s ratification on May 13.

The agreement will enter into force for the sultanate in mid-July, 60 days after notification.

“The CPTPP will provide trading opportunities to new markets like Canada and Latin American countries such as Chile, Peru and Mexico. Furthermore, the agreement will also enhance Brunei Darussalam’s attractiveness as a destination for foreign direct investments,” the ministry said.

“With its high tariff-rate liberalisation and modern trade rules, the CPTPP ensures trade between members continue to be open, mutually-beneficial and facilitative.”

Following the United States’ withdrawal from the trade deal, 11 countries — Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam — signed the final agreement in Santiago, Chile on March 8, 2018.

The treaty will provide market access to a population of 600 million with a combined GDP of US$13.5 trillion, or 13.4% of the global economy, making it one of the largest free trade pacts in the world.

Brunei is the last of the original signatories to ratify the agreement, although members of the bloc have agreed to admit the UK in the near future.