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Singapore and Japan call for TPP to be ratified fast

Staff Writer |
Singapore and Japan said that they hope the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade pact can be ratified and entered into force as soon as possible.

Singapore President Tony Tan Keng Yam, who is on a nine-day state visit to Japan to mark 50 years of diplomatic ties, met Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a bilateral summit on Thursday night.

Both countries are part of the TPP, which includes 12 countries on both sides of the Pacific that account for 40 per cent of the global economy.

The future of the United States-led pact, however, is now uncertain after Mr Donald Trump, who has said he will disavow the pact, was elected US president last month (November).

"We discussed the economic and strategic importance of the TPP, and agreed that it is in the interest of all TPP partners to ensure that the TPP is ratified and enters into force expeditiously," Tan told reporters at the Japanese Prime Minister's Office.

Leaders, including Mr Abe and Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, have stressed the strategic importance of the TPP that is seen as a linchpin of the US pivot to Asia.

Singapore will amend legislation to bring into effect the TPP by early next year, while Japan's Lower House has approved the TPP and it is now before the Upper House.

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