The 11 countries involved with the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) have agreed to expand the trade agreement
The first commission meeting of the CPTPP was held in Tokyo overnight. Ministers and officials from Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam attended.
Other countries are now welcome to join the partnership, if they can meet the conditions.
"It was very pleasing to see CPTPP come to fruition with its entry-into-force at the end of December," Trade Minister David Parker said in a statement on Sunday.
"I welcome the idea that those willing to meet CPTPP's high standards and objectives are now able to join the agreement over time. I do not expect formal applications in the near future, but we look forward to continuing discussions with interested economies on the basis of these guidelines.
"In the meantime, I look forward to seeing the remaining signatories complete their domestic processes and join the seven who have ratified the agreement to date."
The full statement from CPTPP member nations is available on the Beehive website.
The agreement came into force in December, after the withdrawal of the US made it possible to reach an agreement.
- Trump wants US back in the Trans-Pacific Partnership - report
- CPTPP: The five countries that won't sue NZ, according to the Government
- Activists cement their feet in concrete to protest CPTPP
National has urged the Government to do what it can to bring more countries into the agreement, with the US being the priority.
"Trade negotiation is not about day-to-day discussion, it's about the medium- to long-term," trade spokesperson Todd McClay told Newsroom last week.
"Ultimately the US was enticed to the TPP negotiations for strategic reasons, there's even more reason for them now to be involved in the Asia-Pacific."
The next CPTPP meeting will be held in New Zealand later this year, and from 2020 it will rotate between members, based on the order that they ratified the controversial agreement.
New Zealand will host it again in 2023.