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Details of FTA talks cannot be revealed: Rafidah

Bernama, Malaysia

Details Of FTA Talks Cannot Be Revealed: Rafidah

6 April 2007

KUALA LUMPUR, April 6 (Bernama) — Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz, said details of the free trade agreement (FTA) negotiation cannot be revealed because the talks are still on-going.

"It is not ethical ... it is a negotiation. Don’t say because of transparency, you must know about it (the negotiation).

"Please understand, where transparency should be. There are times we have to be transparent," Rafidah said at a question-and-answer session at the market talk on "New and Emerging Markets Issues and Challenges" organised by Institute of Marketing Malaysia here Friday.

She was responding to a question by one of the participants who asked on the progress of the Malaysia-US FTA talks.

Rafidah said the issues of transparency did not arise because the negotiation was still on-going.

"Once it is concluded, you can find it on the Internet but in the meantime, the cabinet will make all the decision," she said.

Talks on the Malaysia-US FTA started in March 2006.

The agreement is aimed at further strengthening trade relationships and laying the foundation for increased business collaborations.

It is also expected to increase the inflow of foreign direct investment as well as address market access measures to facilitate trade and investment, and enhance economic cooperation.