See afterwards: EU trade integration with the Asia-Pacific


With WTO negotiations unlikely to advance fast and no trade agreement with the US in sight, the EU must have a plan for deeper economic integration with reliable partners. Should the EU join the CPTPP or is an enhanced trade cooperation between them the better option?

This was discussed at a National Board of Trade webinar on 22 February 2023.

Speakers: Cecilia Malmström, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, former EU Commissioner for Trade and Per Altenberg, Trade Policy Strategist at the National Board of Trade Sweden.

Webinar and analysis on EU–CPTPP trade integration

Watch the webinar from 22 February on our Youtube channel.

Read our analysis, with concrete suggestions toward trade integration between the EU and the CPTPP: The need for enhanced EU cooperation with the CPTPP

In its 2021 Trade Policy Review communication, the European Commission expressed a need to diversify trade relations and build alliances with like-minded partners. One way for the EU to do this would be to seek deep trade integration with the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a trading block with ten members, nine of which the EU has or is negotiating trade agreements with.


The CPTPP came into effect in December 2018 and has ten members: Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. Brunei has signed the agreement but has not ratified it. The EU has trade agreements with seven of these countries. Negotiations with Australia and New Zeeland are expected to be finalised in 2023, while negotiations with Malaysia are on hold.

Six other economies have applied to join the CPTPP: China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Taiwan, Uruguay and the United Kingdom. Five more countries have indicated an interest to apply: South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Colombia. The EU has or is negotiating trade agreements with all these economies except for China and Taiwan.