KUALA LUMPUR, June 22 — The Asean Business Advisory Council (Asean-BAC) has urged the government to ratify both the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) by year-end.
The council’s Malaysia chairman Tan Sri Dr Mohd Munir Abdul Majid said Malaysia has lost its first-mover advantage as the country has yet to ratify both agreements.
Hence, Asean-BAC today presented a virtual memorandum to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) to support the ratification of both RCEP and CPTPP.
Mohd Munir said trade associations, chambers of commerce, professional bodies as well as business councils recognise the importance of the ratification process that could position Malaysia as a gateway to the RCEP and CPTPP markets.
“It provides opportunities for Malaysian businesses by offering market access to nearly a third of the world’s population, widening intra-regional sourcing channels of raw materials at a competitive pricing, integrating supply chain, promoting greater transparency for sharing trade facilitation, economic cooperation, standardisation rules in relation to e-commerce and providing certainty in the protection of intellectual property rights,” he said at the Asean-BAC Malaysia Webinar 2021 today.
He said the government must take swift action to allow businesses to take advantage of both free trade agreements that Malaysia has already signed. “We hereby seek the government to ratify RCEP and CPTPP by end-2021 to gain early mover’s advantage and strengthen the economy.”
Executive director of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Secretariat Tan Sri Dr Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria said foreign direct investment data showed Vietnam has benefited from being one of the early ratifiers of the CPTPP.
“A recent poll by The Economist showed that the respondents were more optimistic on Vietnam than any other Asean member state,” she said.
Meanwhile, the chairman of Federation of Malaysian Manufactures Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai said the ratifications of both trade agreements are crucial for Malaysia’s economic recovery post-Covid-19. — Bernama