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Ratify trade pacts fast to help with recovery, FMM tells govt

FMM In The News: FREE MALAYSIA TODAY, PETALING JAYA, Friday, April  16, 2021 - Two vital international trade pacts must be ratified quickly to help businesses with the post-pandemic recovery, the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) said today.

It said the two partnerships are the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

FMM president Soh Thian Lai said signing the partnerships was “imperative” to stabilise manufacturing activities and rebuild supply chain connectivity in the region.

This comes after former deputy international trade and industry (Miti) minister Ong Kian Ming made a similar call to Putrajaya, saying it would increase foreign direct investment (FDI) and external trade.  

While Miti had committed to ratifying RCEP by the first quarter of 2022, Soh said it should be done this year to “benefit businesses in time of need”.

He said the CPTPP should also be ratified as soon as possible to contribute to the country’s recovery from the impact of Covid-19, although there was no deadline for Malaysia to do so.

Following this, Soh said, manufacturers were expected to benefit from the diversification of import sources of industrial inputs and components, as well as significantly fewer tariffs.

“These mega free trade agreements will complement rather than compete. The RCEP and CPTPP provide structured frameworks for cooperation for the local manufacturing sector to link our strengths in manufacturing and technology with the strengths of our partner countries in agriculture and natural resources,” he said.

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