TPP talks with Japanese PM much better than expected says English

The World Trade Organization said April 12th 2017 it expects the value of goods shipped around the globe to grow by around 2.4% in 2017 up from just 1.3% in 2016. The forecast takes into account inflation and currency movements

Alongside Japan, New Zealand will be trying to win over other members this weekend when TPP ministers get together in Hanoi on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting.

Japan and New Zealand are the only two of the TPP's 12 Pacific Rim signatories to have ratified the pact so far. Trying to get reluctant participants excited about the US -less pact still seems to be the best bet.

Trade Minister Todd McClay is now in Japan with Prime Minister Bill English where the future of the TPP is expected to feature heavily during meetings on Wednesday.

English also said he told Abe that there "can't be any more changes, other than some technical changes to allow for the implementation without the us", for the pact to be implemented on the original timetable. In a news release, Japan and New Zealand officials said the nations "remain committed to maintaining the unity among the TPP nations" and "early entry into force" of the agreement.

The focus remains on whether Tokyo can assume a leadership role in building a consensus on trade, as Japan's TPP minister Nobuteru Ishihara has expressed eagerness to reach a certain level of certainty with the other 10 signatories by November.

While Australia and New Zealand had some preferences for changes "I think everyone will come to see that getting it implemented can only happen if there isn't some renegotiation".

The Prime Minister explained how, following the departure of the United States, the 11 remaining members have been discussing how, as a group, they should move forward.

Abe said he welcomed "from the bottom of my heart" that New Zealand had ratified the TPP last week.

English said with North Korea so close, and with clear indications it was making technical progress it represented "quite immediate tensions" for Japan.

English on Wednesday joined NZ Rugby Union chief executive Steve Tew to announce the All Blacks would play a test in Japan in November, 2018. He will leave for China's Hong Kong on Thursday.

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