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NHK | 30 December 2021
Ecuador applies to join CPTPP trade pact
Ecuador has become the latest country to apply for membership in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, or CPTPP.
The Ecuadorian foreign ministry told NHK on Wednesday that the country submitted an application to New Zealand, the depository for the free trade agreement.
The ministry said the New Zealand government welcomed the move, and responded that it will consider the application with other member countries. The CPTPP currently has 11 signatories, including Japan.
Ecuador is in South America with the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is an exporter of oil, bananas, cacao and shrimp.
Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso, who took office in May, has indicated he will promote free trade to boost the economy. The center-right leader hopes joining the trade pact will help expand the country’s exports to the Asia-Pacific region.
Britain presented its request for membership in February. Taiwan and China presented theirs in September. South Korea has said it plans to apply to join the pact.