Analysis: Cheaper mobile services, TV subscriptions with trans-Pacific treaty

According to an analysis, the Trans-Pacific Partnership wil likely lead to cheaper mobile services and TV subscriptions due to competition. ― File pic
According to an analysis, the Trans-Pacific Partnership wil likely lead to cheaper mobile services and TV subscriptions due to competition. ― File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 4 ― The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will likely lead to lower rates of mobile services and subscription-based television due to more competition, according to a cost-benefit analysis.

The analysis by local think-tank Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia also noted that the Pacific free trade treaty would result in more competitive prices for certain food items and goods with the gradual elimination of import duties, except for other types of products that are subject to price controls.

“The minister may or may not grant licences for foreigners to operate in Malaysia, but the presence of more telecommunication service providers will create a competitive market and the rates are expected to decline,” said the ISIS’ National Interest Analysis of Malaysia’s Participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership released today.

“An efficient market will ultimately affect taste and preference of consumers, which, in turn, will push cost of living down. However, governments still have room to manoeuvre by seeking exclusions, long transition periods and so forth for certain goods and services,” it added.

According to ISIS, the TPP will not affect the prices of public transport, utilities (electricity and water), housing, essential food items (rice, sugar and flour), tobacco and cigarette products, liquor and alcoholic beverages, and fixed telecommunications lines that are subject to government regulation.

The TPP improves market access by eliminating and reducing tariffs; removing non-tariff barriers, which are barriers to trade that are not in the form of tariffs like quotas, levies and embargoes; and improving the procedures and control of movement of goods across international barriers, said ISIS.

Imported goods will be cheaper too as import duties for almost 85 per cent of such goods will be eliminated once the TPP comes into force, according to the ISIS analysis.

“Ultimately, consumers will enjoy a wider choice of goods at competitive prices,” said ISIS.

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