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Malaysia hopeful TPPA will shape up as broad-based FTA in Asia Pacific

Sin Chew Jit Poh, Malaysia

Malaysia hopeful TPPA will shape up as broad-based FTA in Asia Pacific

25 April 2014

PUTRAJAYA, April 25 (Bernama) — Malaysia is hopeful that the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) will shape up as a broad-based free trade agreement in the Asia-Pacific region with the eventual outcome of the negotiations taking into account its interests and concerns.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said while Malaysia believed the TPPA could be good for the country, there was a limit to what "it can commit without affecting national interests and the ability to continue socio-economic developments."

"Malaysia views that a great deal of flexibility is needed to enable Malaysia to come on board in sensitive chapters," he told a media conference on US President Barack Obama’s three-day visit to Malaysia beginning tomorrow.

Anifah said while Malaysia was optimistic that the outcome of the TPPA negotiations would be positive, "the country do not want to be tied to a strict deadline for conclusion."

He said Malaysia would remain engaged in the negotiations especially when the government was moving forward with the new economic model aimed at transforming Malaysia into a high-income nation.

"It is not a done deal yet. We need to address few issues. We need to look closely at national sovereignty and our right to decide on domestic policies," Anifah said.

The minister said Malaysia has a certain stand on matters like government procurement, state-owned enterprises, investor-state dispute settlements and intellectual property rights, he said.

"Whatever is the final form, the TPPA would be debated in parliament to ensure that it is subject to full democratic scrutiny and accountability," he added.