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MTMA optimistic on govt’s free trade agreement with US

The Edge Daily, Malaysia

MTMA optimistic on govt’s free trade agreement with US

By Gan Yen Kuan

15 May 2006

The Malaysian Textile Manufacturers Association (MTMA) is optimistic on the International Trade and Industry Ministry’s effort to launch a free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States (US).

In a statement on May 15, its president Datuk YH Tan said the FTA would propel the local textile and apparel industry into the global marketplace and assist the industry players to gain market shares in US.

“The Malaysia-US FTA comes at a right time when the global textile and apparel industry is becoming more competitive.

“A free trade agreement with our largest trading partner would certainly enhance and continue to provide good potential for the local textile and apparel to flourish,” he said.

MTMA said US was Malaysia’s “most important and lucrative” export market for the textile and apparel sector, with an export value of RM2.9 billion recorded last year, representing 28.5% of the country’s total export.

He said the FTA could pave the way for import duties for Malaysian textile and apparel products entering US to be reduced or abolished and thus bring down the prices of the products.

He said MTMA believes that the future of the Malaysian textile and apparel industry was “not easy to predict” but it would “certainly continue to strive to ensure its survival in years to come”.