Ministry ready to take TPP queries

Ministry ready to take TPP queries
Malaysia's International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.
PHOTO: Lianhe Zaobao

KUALA LUMPUR - The Ministry of Inter­national Trade and Industry (Miti) will increase its engagement with stakeholders and interested parties on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) now that the final text of the trade deal has been released for public view.

An operations room will be set up in Miti to attend to queries from TPPA partners and for the Miti team to respond to requests from interested parties for TPPA briefings.

Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed expressed his relief that the text was finally out as earlier there had been many accusations based on incomplete information and demands for the text to be released.

"I see the next three months (before tabling of the text in Parliament) as the next phase. It will be an intensive engagement, open and transparent.

"We chose not to respond to certain accusations previously because the text was not out yet. Now there is no excuse for us not to reply," Mustapa told a TPPA workshop yesterday.

He said the text would be in the public domain for three months before tabling in Parliament for debate and vote.

The public can access the text at http://fta.miti.gov.my/index.php/pages/view/tppa.

The minister also said the two cost-benefit analyses being done by the Institute of Strategic and International Studies and PricewaterhouseCoopers would be comple­ted in two weeks.

Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam were involved in 19 rounds of TPPA negotiations for more than five years.

The TPPA will cut trade barriers and set common standards among these 12 countries, whose total economic output accounts for 40 per cent of the world economy.

The agreement must be ratified by the 12 nations.

For many, it will be a multi-step process. In the case of Malaysia, it will need a simple majority in Parliament.

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