KUALA LUMPUR (June 22):TheASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) hasurged the government to ratify both theRegional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) by year end.
The council’s Malaysia chairman Tan Sri DrMohd Munir Abdul Majid said Malaysia had lost its first-mover advantageas the country had yet to ratify both agreements.
Hence,ASEAN-BAC today presented a virtual memorandum to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) to support the ratification of both the RCEP and CPTPP.
Mohd Munir said trade associations, chambers of commerce, professional bodies as well asbusiness councils recognisethe importance of the ratification process that could position Malaysia as agateway to the RCEP and CPTPP markets.
“Itprovides opportunities for Malaysian businesses by offering market access to nearly a third of the world’s population, widening intra-regional sourcing channels of raw materials at competitive pricing, integrating supply chains, promoting greater transparency for sharing trade facilitation, economic cooperation,standardisation of rules in relation to e-commerceand providing certainty in the protection of intellectual property rights,” he said at the ASEAN-BAC Malaysia Webinar 2021 today.
He said the government must take swift action to allow businesses to take advantage of both free trade agreements that Malaysia had already signed. “Wehereby seek the government to ratify the RCEP and CPTPP by end-2021 to gain early mover’s advantage and strengthen the economy.”
Executive director of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) SecretariatTan Sri Dr Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria said foreign direct investment data showed that Vietnam had benefited from being one of the early ratifiers ofthe CPTPP.
“A recent poll by The Economist showed that the respondents were more optimistic about Vietnam than any other ASEAN member state,” she said.
Meanwhile, president of the Federation of Malaysian ManufacturersTan Sri Soh Thian Lai said the ratificationof both trade agreements is crucial for Malaysia’seconomic recovery post Covid-19. Source: The Edge Markets