Regulatory coherence and in-market access will be high on the agenda at the 16th round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations as negotiators move towards concluding an agreement later this year.

Taking place in Singapore from 4-13 March 2013, negotiators from the 11 TPP countries – the United States, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, will also be focusing on finding practical and mutually-beneficial solutions to outstanding texts of the 29 agreement chapters.

Managing Director of EAS Asia, a provider of strategic advice on international regulation and policy, Mr Pushpanathan Sundram, said the upcoming round of negotiations in Singapore is the first of three rounds scheduled for this year, as negotiators look to conclude an agreement before the October 2013 APEC Summit in Indonesia.

“The 16th round of TPP negotiations in Singapore will further the progress made during the previous round, which moved forward the development of an overall tariff package on industrial goods, agriculture and textiles, and made significant progress on goods, financial services and investment, and government procurement.

“The focus on regulatory convergence, market access and chapter text will help negotiators move towards concluding an agreement in 2013, which is consistent with the clear ambition that Leaders set out in Honolulu in 2011,” he said.

While significant progress has been made, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations and Issues for Congress document highlights that “the negotiating dynamic itself is complex” and for the October deadline to be achieved, “outstanding negotiating positions may need to be tabled soon” in order for political decisions to be made.

As with other rounds of negotiations, a Stakeholder Engagement Event will also be held on 6 March during the 16th round of negotiations. FIA Executive Director, Ms Bev Postma will be attending the event on behalf of FIA and she encourages members to register for the session that will see stakeholders from various countries and organisations come together.

“Attendees to the Stakeholder Engagement Event will have the chance to engage and interact with the TPP negotiators directly. It is a good opportunity to not only meet stakeholders from other countries, but to also share views with the negotiators on the TPP agreement and how it can help in the reduction of technical barriers to trade, especially in Asia,” she said.

Members who are interested in attending the Stakeholder Engagement Event can visit this link to register. Details of the event will be provided upon registration.