'Delay in CPTPP ratification has cost us' – The Star Online

Credit: Original article can be found here

THE delay in ratifying the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) has resulted in an “opportunities loss” for the nation, says Datuk Seri Mohd Azmin Ali (pic).

“Almost five years have passed since the implementation of the CPTPP, where Malaysia lost the opportunity to benefit from the agreement owing to the ratification which has yet to be completed,” the International Trade and Industry Minister said when wrapping up his ministerial replies on Budget 2022 in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

He said efforts to ratify the trade agreement were expected to be completed by the third quarter of next year at the latest.

At present, he said, Malaysia was accorded observer status and did not have any right to block any decision made with regards to enforcement of the agreement.

The CPTPP was signed by 11 nations, including Malaysia, in 2018. The agreement is currently enforced by Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Mexico, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

Azmin said that among its benefits were access to a wider market, which was expected to grow since the United Kingdom, China and Taiwan were now new members of the trade pact.

And because Malaysia has not ratified the agreement, he added that Malaysian goods were presently not entitled to preferential treatment if exported to Canada, Mexico and Peru.

He cited Vietnam as an Asean nation that has benefited from the CPTPP.

“Vietnam saw exports increase by 8% or US$34.3bil (RM142.7bil) in 2019 compared to the year before,” he said.

Azmin added that Vietnam also saw US$9.2bil (RM38.3bil) in direct investments from CPTPP nations or 24% of the nation’s foreign investment for 2019.

He also assured MPs that ratification would not prejudice the special rights of bumiputra, and there were exceptions given with regards to bumiputra rights under the CPTPP.

Among them, Azmin said were government procurement, subsidies and the issuance of licences and special permits.