The UK has concluded a key step to joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) worth £12 trillion in global GDP upon the UK’s entry.

Government ratified the terms of the agreement to join the trade group, stating that British businesses would benefit from UK’s accession to CPTPP “through lower tariffs and fewer barriers to trade”.

The UK-Peru Double Taxation Agreement has also been reached, preventing businesses from being taxed twice and significantly reducing the costs of doing business with Peru, which Government said would support bilateral trade and investment.

Joining CPTPP will account for 15% of global GDP with the UK included, said Government, meaning that over 99% of current UK goods exports to CPTPP members will be eligible for tariff-free trade.

In addition to the UK, only six economies need to ratify by October for the deal to enter into force by the end of the year. Countries that have already ratified include Singapore, Japan and Chile, with other countries in the works.

Greg Hands, Minister for Trade Policy, said: “The UK has been racing to get our ratification done because we know how much CPTPP will benefit British businesses, whether through access to new markets or cutting red tape on existing exports.

“I’m delighted we were able to bring this forward, ahead of our original July forecast, so we can get the countdown to Entry into Force going as soon as possible.”

Marco Forgione, Director General of the Institute of Export and International Trade, said: “The ratification of CPTPP marks an important stage in the UK’s trading future. British businesses now have tariff-free access to some of fastest growing markets in the world to sell our goods and our world leading services. This is an opportunity which can help reshape the UK economy.

“At a time when global trade has been weaponised, this partnership can help the UK establish resilient and robust supply chains across Southeast Asia, Central and South America. In a world of growing geo-political uncertainty, the expanding trading community of CPTPP nations offers an important counterpoint.

“Now CPTPP is ratified the real work begins to make sure businesses understand how to take advantage of the immense opportunities for UK services and goods in CPTPP nations. There is a great opportunity for UK businesses to grow.”