Malaysia and EU to resume FTA talks, says trade minister Mustapa

Trade minister Mustapa Mohamed (fourth, left) with his counterparts at the start of the Asean Economic Ministers Retreat. — Bernama pic
Trade minister Mustapa Mohamed (fourth, left) with his counterparts at the start of the Asean Economic Ministers Retreat. — Bernama pic

CHIANGMAI, March 3 — Malaysia and the European Union (EU) have agreed to resume discussion on a free trade agreement (FTA), delayed for the past three years.

Minister of Trade and Industry, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, who met European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Maelstrom this morning, said the negotiation parties from both sides would meet in mid- or end-April.

“Malaysia and EU started FTA talks five years ago,” Mustapa said. “They were, however, delayed for three years due to various unavoidable factors.”

Mustapa said this to Bernama at the 22nd Asean Economic Ministers’ Retreat here today.

Among the factors were Malaysia’s involvement in talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and the failure of both parties to agree on various issues.

Mustapa said the EU would also resume FTA talks with other Asean nations such as Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. It has just completed talks with Vietnam.

Mustapa said there was no deadline to complete the talks. — Bernama