No Plan Yet For FTA With Malaysia, Says Canada

Bernama, Malaysia

No Plan Yet For FTA With Malaysia, Says Canada

5 July 2006

KUALA LUMPUR, July 5 (Bernama) — Canada has no plan to hold talks on free trade agreement (FTA) with Malaysia for the time being due to lack of time, says its high commission’s counsellor and senior trade commissioner, Rene-Francois Desamore.

"Canada is not looking to negotiate FTA with Malaysia in one to two years," he said at a media briefing on the benefits of two-way trade for Malaysia and Canada here Wednesday.

Desamore, however, said Malaysia was on Canada’s priority list to negotiate any agreement that could facilitate trade, like the present talks on double taxation and investors agreements.

"Malaysia is on our priority list of countries to negotiate agreements to facilitate trade. We cannot do them at the same time and that is why no date has been set for FTA," he added.

He said Canada’s involvement in too many FTAs has made it difficult to have a proper team to negotiate FTA with Malaysia.

Other than that, Desamore said Malaysia and Canada were currently working together on a number of actions to take at the Doha session of the World Trade Organisation year-end.

He said last year total trade between the two countries stood at C$3 billion (C$1=RM3.30), with C$2.6 billion being Malaysian exports.

"The trade has been at the same level for the last five years.

"After Minister of International Trade Industry of Malaysia Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz’s visit in April, there were interests among Canadian businessmen to invest in Malaysia," he said.

Desamore said the one-day visit, which was expected to generate RM46 million in sales, has also boosted opportunities for both countries.

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