PETALING JAYA: The Institute of Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) has commended Malaysia’s move to bring back the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) in a revised format.
The trade pact was put on hold following the withdrawal of the US last year.
IDEAS chairman Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria said Malaysian businesses would stand to benefit from the renewed deal, dubbed as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), by having new access to a large global market.
She said certain provisions removed from the TPP should be reinstated for its real benefits to be realised in the new version.
“The next step is for the CPTPP to be formally signed in Chile on March 8,” the former secretary-general of the international trade and industry ministry (MITI) said in a statement today.
“Six parties must sign for it to enter into force in 2019 and I hope Malaysia will be one of the signatories.
“This will allow our entrepreneurs to have access to a market with a population of 500 million people, covering 14% of global GDP,” she added.
“I also hope that soon after the signing, we will take quick steps to bring back the suspended provisions so that the real benefits of such a big multilateral deal, and the much needed structural reforms we wanted to see from the original TPP, can be realised.”
TPP was a 12-member trade agreement promoted by former US president Barack Obama, which included Malaysia.
Following his election, President Donald Trump withdrew the US from the pact, effectively plunging TPPA into limbo.
The chief negotiators of the 11 remaining member countries last met in Tokyo for two days starting Jan 22.
Rebecca said Malaysia had made the right decision in joining the original TPP and now the CPTPP.
“This is a positive step forward for our position in the global value chain,” she said, lauding Prime Minister Najib Razak for remaining committed to the pact’s agenda.
She added that International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed as well as current MITI secretary-general J Jayasiri and his team had worked hard to get the best deal for Malaysia.
On Jan 24, Mustapa had said that the CPTPP would benefit the country in terms of expanding consumer choices on goods and services in the market.
He said Malaysia expected additional jobs to be created as a result of further investments under the pact.