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RCEP implementation timely to assist business recovery – FMM

FMM In The News: THE MALAYSIAN RESERVE, KUALA LUMPUR, Monday, January 24, 2022 – The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) welcomes Malaysia’s upcoming implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Partnership Agreement (RCEP), scheduled for March 18, 2022.

President Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai said as global economies continue to ramp up efforts for economic recovery, the implementation of the RCEP by the first quarter of this year is very timely for Malaysian businesses to leverage this mega agreement as a COVID-19 business recovery tool to boost trade.

“FMM is a strong advocate of the RCEP as we have always maintained that RCEP, once implemented, will contribute significantly to Malaysian businesses as it creates a single economic cooperation bloc that accounts for about 30 per cent of the global gross domestic product and a third of the global population, or 2.2 billion people, with ASEAN playing a central role.

“According to a recent report by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, compared to the other ASEAN countries, Malaysia is expected to be the largest beneficiary of the RCEP agreement in terms of gains in exports, with a projected US$0.2 billion increase,” he said in a statement today.

Malaysia is poised to be the 12th RCEP signatory to implement the agreement after the Instrument of Ratification (IOR) was submitted to the ASEAN Secretariat on Jan 17, 2022.

Soh said FMM has launched a series of webinars on the RCEP to assist companies to identify potential opportunities and gaps in some of the new areas in the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to ensure that Malaysian businesses maximise the gains and minimise any possible losses from the FTA.

On another note, FMM has also called on the government to hasten the ratification process of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) to benefit businesses in this time of need.

The CPTPP is expected to provide access to three countries that Malaysia currently has no FTA with, namely Canada, Mexico and Peru.

“While we are aware that there is no deadline for Malaysia to complete the domestic process to enable the ratification of the CPTPP, FMM believes that the ratification of the agreement at the earliest date possible will further contribute to Malaysia’s recovery,” he added.

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