KUALA LUMPUR, July 26 — The Small and Medium Enterprises Association of Malaysia (Samenta) has sought the government to ratify the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) as soon as possible following the release of the cost-benefits analysis by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC).

According to a PWC study, Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) is set to reach US$628 billion (RM2.7 trillion) by 2030 with the ratification of CPTPP, US$11.7 billion higher than the scenario without the ratification.

Samenta chairman Datuk William Ng said as the cost-benefits analysis has indicated, ratification of the CPTPP would conservatively increase the GDP by 1.9 per cent as opposed to not ratifying it.

“In the event that China and the United Kingdom (UK) join the CPTPP, our GDP could gain 4.2 per cent versus the baseline,” he said in a statement today.

“These are strong numbers and we will be shooting ourselves in the foot if we do not join the trade pact when China and UK are eager to do so,” he said.

Ng said while Malaysia is among the initial signatories of the agreement, the country has not been able to benefit from the preferential tariff rates and treatment accorded by the agreement until the ratification is made.

Meanwhile, he said the CPTPP is a high quality multilateral trade agreement and it addresses long-standing trade issues such as non-tariff barriers.

“Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in particular are more susceptible to non-tariff barriers, and our ability to compete fairly is impeded without a trade agreement that addresses such issues,” he said.

He added that the various lockdowns as a result of the pandemic and the current severe labour shortage have resulted in a huge disruption in the global supply chains.

“We will need all the support to reaffirm our position within these global supply chains.

“Our early ratification of the CPTPP will be a strong assurance to our trading partners that Malaysia is serious about business and is supportive of a fair, transparent trade regime,” he said. — Bernama