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TPPA meet ‘narrowed differences’

July 26, 2013

The negotiating groups are exploring further options on challenging subjects of intellectual property, environment and state-owned enterprises.

KOTA KINABALU: Negotiators at the 18th round of the Trans-Pacific Parntership (TPP) negotiations have expressed commitment to meet the deadline for the conclusion of the negotiations by this year.

There was good progress in resolving more technical issues.

The 18th TPP round was also able to narrow differences in the more difficult issues, paving the way for possible early closure on some of these issues.

On the more challenging subjects of intellectual property, environment and state-owned enterprises, negotiators are exploring further options to advance work in the negotiating groups.

Thirteen negotiating groups met in this round to discuss investment, non-conforming measures, competition, market access, rules of origin and technical barriers to trade.

Financial services, e-commerce, temporary entry, intellectual property rights (IPR), environment, government procurement and legal and institutional issues were also discussed.

With regards to market access for industrial, agricultural, textile and apparel products, negotiators agreed on a work programme to accelerate negotiations to achieve the goal of comprehensive liberalisation.

Senior director in the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and Malaysia’s chief negotiator, J. Jayasiri, said in terms of IPR issues there are more challenges in the negotiations.

Asked on IPR in pharmaceuticals, in which the price of medicine may be increased under the TPP, he said: “So far on the issue of pharmaceuticals there has been no conclusion,  negotiations are ongoing and Malaysia has its position in the negotiations.”

Next meet in August

He was speaking at a media briefing after the conclusion of the 18th round of the TPP negotiations here yesterday. The negotiations started on July 15.

The round witnessed the participation of more than 650 officials from Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam.

On July 23, Japan was welcomed as the 12th member of the TPP negotiations.

Jayasiri said Japan has integrated well into the negotiations and there is a commitment from Japan to work closely with other TPP members.

Meanwhile, Japan’s chief negotiator, Koji Tsuruoka, said Japan is delighted that there is a special briefing session organised by Malaysia attended by all chief negotiators to explain the state of play of the negotiations.

“We also had contacts with the negotiators of different groups,” he said at the media briefing yesterday.

Japan’s participation in the TPP creates a market of 790 million people with a combined gross domestic product of US$27 trillion (RM81 trillion), accounting for one third of global trade.

The 19th round of the TPP negotiations is scheduled to be held on Aug 22-30 this year in Brunei.

Bernama


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