MALAYSIA INKS TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT
Malaysia inked the hotly-debated Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) on February 5 in Auckland, New Zealand, along with 11 other Pacific Rim countries.
International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed signed the pact – which represents 36 per cent of the global gross domestic product worth US$30 trillion – on behalf of Malaysia. Also present at the signing ceremony were Dewan Negara President, Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang; Chairman of the Parliamentary Caucus Committee, Datuk Wira Ahmad Hamzah; Kuala Selangor Member of Parliament, Datuk Irmohizam Ibrahim; and High Commissioner to New Zealand, Datuk Lim Kim Eng.
The 12 countries sealing the deal were Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Vietnam on the west side of the Pacific Ocean; and United States, Canada, Mexico, Peru and Chile represented the east side.
The TPPA was mooted to expand markets, reduce tariffs and promote freer trade among the 800 million population of the signatories. Its materialization also enabled New Zealand to have its first free trade agreement with the United States and Japan.
Speaking on the occasion of the ratification, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said Malaysia has negotiated and signed many regional and bilateral trade agreements in the interests of the country’s economy and her citizens.
“These agreements play an important role in creating a more competitive environment, allowing for the greater provision of services, which benefits individual citizens as well as businesses – both big and small. TPPA is no exception,” he emphasised.
Reassuring Malaysians, he reiterated that the Government would always place the people first in the agreement, duly reflected by the negotiation for the Bumiputra agenda to be included in the TPPA. “It (the Bumiputra agenda) is now not just nationally recognised – it is internationally recognised and protected.
“We are committed to protecting the interests and sovereign rights of our citizens, and help them to grow stronger in what is an increasingly interconnected global economy,” he said in his blog NajibRazak.com.