AUCKLAND: Malaysia and 11 other countries have inked the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) which is set to expand markets, reduce tariffs and promote freer trade.
International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed signed the comprehensive trade pact on behalf of Malaysia at a ceremony here yesterday.
Datuk J. Jayasiri, Malaysiaâ€™s chief negotiator for the TPPA who has been in the thick of negotiations from the start, was also present at the historic event here in New Zealand.
Bernama learnt that the ceremony at the SkyCity Convention Centre in downtown Auckland started at 9am local time (2pm Malaysian time) with a colourful cultural performance followed by a ministerial meeting before the signing.
The 12 countries in the TPPA are New Zealand, Australia, Chile, Mexico, Japan, Peru, Canada, Vietnam, United States, Singapore, Brunei and Malaysia.
The signing of the TPPA, which will represent nearly 40% of global gross domestic product (GDP) worth US$30tril (RM126tril), comes after five years and 19 rounds of tough negotiations.
Malaysia joined the TPPA in the third round of negotiations in October 2010.
The countryâ€™s inclusion in the trade pact is expected to boost Malaysiaâ€™s GDP by US$107bil (RM449.5bil) to US$211bil (RM886.5bil) from 2018 to 2027.
Investments are projected to increase by US$136bil (RM571bil) to US$239bil (RM1 trillion) over the same period, largely due to higher investment growth in textiles, construction and distributive trade.
The TPPA is aimed at promoting economic integration to liberalise trade and investment as well as spur economic growth and social benefits.
More than 90% of the economic gains will be due to lower non-tariff measures.
The trade pact is also expected to create new opportunities for workers and businesses, contribute to raising living standards of 800 million people, benefit consumers, reduce poverty and promote sustainable growth.-BERNAMA