Bernama | October 16, 2012
Malaysia-Turkey FTA by year-end, says Mustapa
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 16 (Bernama) — Malaysia is optimistic of signing a free trade agreement (FTA) with Turkey by year-end, said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.
He said FTA negotiations between Malaysia and Turkey, which commenced in May 2010, was progressing well and both countries have decided to compromise on several contentious issues which were a stumbling block to finalising the agreement.
"We had several major challenges during the negotiations such as the rules of origin and halal standards. When I was in Ankara recently, I met government leaders from Turkey and we decided to compromise on the issues.
"We were supposed to have concluded the FTA by December 2011. So, we are well behind the target," he told reporters Tuesday.
Mustapa will meet his Turkish-counterpart, over the next few days, to formalise final negotiations.
"We will set everything right in the coming days and after that the proposal will be passed to Cabinet for the Prime Minister to make a decision," he added.
Last year, Malaysia’s export to Turkey stood at US$1.567 billion while imports amounted to about US$182 million.