KUALA LUMPUR, April 26 — The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti) targets to receive the mandate from the Cabinet to determine the direction of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in October this year.

Senior Minister cum International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said his ministry had started engagement sessions with the industry and stakeholders since last year in order for traders to understand the obligations under the said agreement.

“Besides engagement sessions, a cost-benefit analysis study on Malaysia’s participation in the CPTPP is being carried out, which is expected to be finalised by October this year.

“With that, Miti targets to get the mandate from the Cabinet on (the direction of) CPTPP this October,” he told TV3 in a special interview aired during its Buletin Utama news programme tonight.

Touching on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) issue which is scheduled to be ratified in early 2022, Mohamed Azmin said to complete the agreement ratification process, three Acts under the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP) must first be amended.

These Acts were the Patents Act 1983, Copyright Act 1987 and Trade Marks Act 1976, he said.

During the Asean economic ministers’ meeting recently, he said, every country had given their commitment to ratify the RCEP this year or the latest by early next year due to the different process employed by each country.

“Only Singapore has ratified the RCEP to-date,” he said.

After eight years of negotiations, the RCEP was signed at the 37th Asean Summit in November last year with 10 Asean member countries and other strategic partners including Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.

The world’s largest free trade agreement involves 15 member countries covering a market of 2.2 billion people or almost one-third of world population and contribute almost 30 per cent to the global gross domestic product. — Bernama