No Dramatic Impact From TPP Fallout, Say Accountants

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KUALA LUMPUR – There will not be any dramatic impact if the much talked about Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement fails to take off as there is always other means to boost trade and economy.

Axcelasia Inc Executive Chairman Dr Veerinderjeet Singh said it would be business as usual for Malaysian companies, albeit, the fact that the TPP would have further enhanced growth as the trade pact would have provided greater market access.

“(However) I think there are ways to actually access those markets if the TPP does not come into force but it would have been a little bit costlier,” he told a panel discussion on the second and last day of the Malaysian Institute of Accountants conference here today.

Veerinderjeet was responding to a question from the floor on the future of the TPP as US President-elect Donald Trump was not in favour of the trade pact.

Out of the 12 TPP members, Malaysia does not have any form of trade agreement with the United States, Canada, Peru and Mexico.

Yesterday, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed also said that Malaysia was keeping an “open mind” on the trade pact and should the US withdraw from the TPP, it will effectively mean that the agreement cannot come into force.

Nevertheless, Veerinderjeet remained confident Malaysia’s trade would continue to grow.

Another panelist, Paul Drum, the Head of Policy External Positioning from CPA Autralia, however, felt that the TPP would come back but in a different perspective.

“Trump is going to be a trade president as he is a businessman. (So), I think the TPP will come back and people are going to like it,” he said.

CPA Australia is an accounting body with a global membership of more than 155,000 people working in 118 countries around the world.

Meanwhile, BDO Tax Service Sdn Bhd Executive Director Bernice Tan also echoed similar views, saying that “it would be business as usual”.

However, unlike Drum, Tan was more positive of the ASEAN Economic Community or AEC materialising and not the faltering TPP deal.

The AEC came into effect on Dec 31, 2015. It is aimed at providing ASEAN member countries a single market and a production base, which among others, involves the free flow of goods, investment, capital and skilled labour. – BERNAMA