New Trade Deal Signed By 11 Countries
Eleven countries in the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement recently sent a strong message to Washington against its increasing protectionism in trade. The countries proceeded to sign a new deal known as The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). It was signed in Santiago, Chile, by the trade ministers of Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
Malaysia Representative – Datuk J. Jayasiri
Malaysia was represented by International Trade and Industry Ministry’s secretary-general Datuk J.Jayasiri who is the chief negotiator for the trade deal. In an immediate reaction, Malaysia’s Minister of International Trade and Industry (Miti), Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, said what the world needed now was more trade and investment flows and not restricted markets. “In light of recent protectionist sentiment which is prevalent in a number of countries, the signing of the CPTPP is timely as it sends a strong signal of our commitment towards an open and liberal trading system,” he said in a statement. According to him despite the absence of the US, Malaysia still stood to gain from market access like Canada, Peru and Mexico, countries which Malaysia did not have preferential trading agreement. “Malaysia believes that this agreement will help us to further promote our trade and investment agenda and mitigate the challenges of the global economic environment.”
“Malaysia stands to gain from CPTPP by opening up the door for more Malaysian companies to expand their presence beyond the borders of our country as well as strengthening Malaysia’s position as a premier investment destination – which will eventually create additional quality jobs for our people. “The Malaysian public at large will also benefit from the increase in consumer choices on goods and services in our market,” he added. Eight rounds of negotiations were held since early 2017 before the CPTPP was finally concluded on Jan 23, 2018 in Tokyo. Malaysia has since begun taking the necessary steps to amend the relevant laws in order to complete the ratification process and enable the implementation of the CPTPP as early as possible.
“With the conclusion of the CPTPP, Miti and our colleagues from other ministries and agencies will now focus our attention on concluding the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership negotiation,” added Mustapa. The trade deal covers about 13 per cent of the global economy and needs to be ratified by six signatories for it to come into force. The agreement suspends 20 provisions of the original pact, many of which dealt with intellectual property rights.