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FMM: Ratify CPTPP at earliest date possible to further contribute to Malaysia’s pandemic recovery

FMM In The News: THE EDGE MARKETS, KUALA LUMPUR,  Thursday, July 26 , 2022 - The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) believes that the ratification of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) at the earliest date possible will further contribute to Malaysia’s pandemic recovery.

In a statement on Tuesday (July 26), president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai said any delay or non-participation in the CPTPP would result in opportunity cost for Malaysia, and the extensive safeguards secured would be forgone.

“As four years have passed since the agreement was signed by Malaysia in March 2018, we cannot afford to further delay the ratification of the CPTPP.

“Otherwise, we run the risk of being relegated to the sidelines as our ASEAN neighbours have moved ahead strongly,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.

Citing the findings of the cost and benefit analysis (CBA) conducted on the CPTPP, which was published by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) on Monday, Soh said it revealed that the CPTPP presents net economic benefits to Malaysia, as Malaysia, along with Brunei, Singapore and Vietnam, are the only four countries in ASEAN participating in the agreement. 

“The CBA reaffirms that the CPTPP offers market access opportunities to three new countries, namely Canada, Mexico and Peru, [which] Malaysia has no free trade agreements (FTAs) with.

“Based on the 2021 data from the World Bank, the three new markets collectively represent a population of over 200 million with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of over US$3.5 trillion [about RM15.6 trillion], which is 9.4 times bigger than our own economy," he said.

In addition, Soh said the findings reckoned that the CPTPP would allow wider sourcing channels for raw materials at competitive prices for businesses in Malaysia, and this directly would improve Malaysia’s competitiveness and attractiveness as an investment destination.

“We note that there are challenges in implementing such a broad and high-level agreement across different parties.

“But as the main thrust and centrality of the CPTPP agreement is to facilitate and promote regional economic integration, trade and investment, we are confident that Malaysia’s interest is safeguarded extensively through the necessary carve-outs and suspended provisions in the agreement, and added advantages to protect domestic interests,” he said.


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