M’sia to get benefits of FTA with 4 countries under the TPPA

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2015-10-21 10:00:00 – Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia to get benefit of free-trade access (FTA) with four countries the US, Canada, Mexico and Peru under the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) with which it does not have any agreement yet, said Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister for International Trade and Industry.

In some cases, the duties will be abolished with the implementation of TPPA, he said in Parliament yesterday. For example, with the TPPA, import duties for almost 73% of textile products to the US will be eliminated immediately. Without the TPPA, only 11% of textile products exported to the US enjoy zero tariff.

Malaysia hope the TPPA will spur investments in states which rely heavily on foreign investments such as Penang, Johor and Selangor.

Mustapa also reiterated that the findings of cost and benefit on Malaysia’s participation in the trade pact will be unveiled to the Parliament in three months.

Overall, the government is satisfied with the outcome of the TPPA negotiations as the country’s interests had been considered, with flexibility allowed for requests such as the Bumiputera agenda, government procurement and government-linked companies through such mechanisms as transition period and exemption for several entities.

Mustapa said that a few issues have yet to be settled. Although the discussions have been finalised, there are several technical issues outstanding, and they are still negotiating via email.

China, the world’s second-largest economy had initiated a counter Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership between 10 South-East Asian countries and Australia, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.

The TPPA is negotiated between 12 countries — the US, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Chile, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand and Brunei — which represent more than 40% of the world’s gross domestic product.

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