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TPPA Offers New Potential To Expand Local Trade

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SHAH ALAM – The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) involving 12 countries with a market of 800 million people provides a new potential to the local trade sector to expand its existing market.

International Trade and Industry Deputy Minister, Datuk Ahmad Maslan, said local traders especially the Bumiputera community from the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) should look at this development as the best opportunity to increase their income.

“ASEAN member countries have 625 million people, but TPPA countries have 800 million, hence the trade potential is bigger…that’s before five member countries of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) are also interested to join the trade pact.

“To-date, the 12 countries that are participating in the TPPA controls 40 per cent of global trade and we should look at this with an open mind that the agreement is a new and bigger opportunity for us,” he said to reporters today.

Earlier, Ahmad presented the Excellent Entrepreneur Awards 2015 to 15 Bumiputera entrepreneurs in Selangor in a ceremony organised by the Selangor Entrepreneurs Club (KUSEL) and Malaysia Halal Exporters Chamber (DPHM) here.

Elaborating, Ahmad said out of the 12 countries participating in the TPPA, Malaysia had still not signed free trade agreement (FTA) with four countries, namely Canada, Mexico, Peru and the United States.

“…but if we signed the FTA with them, this would give us more market opportunities in those countries. This is another benefit we get from the TPPA,” he said.

He said through the TPPA, the import duty rate of five to 15 per cent imposed on local products entering the other TPPA countries would be abolished.

Hence, the signing of the TPPA and FTA would increase the nation’s import and export figures, and subsequently provide huge benefits to trade opportunities in the country.

Malaysia and 11 other countries, namely Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Singapore, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, the United States and Vietnam finalised the TPP negotiations on Oct 5, 2015.

The TPPA contents and two cost-benefit analyses would be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat for approval before being ratified within two years after the signing. – BERNAMA

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