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Progress made at eighth round of Malaysia-US FTA talks

Bernama | July 21, 2008

Progress Made At Eighth Round Of Malaysia-U.S. FTA Talks

KUALA LUMPUR, July 21 (Bernama) — Malaysia and the United States have achieved progress at the eighth round of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations with both sides showing willingness to resolve outstanding issues.

Both sides are also drawing up a specific follow-up work plan which is targeted for completion by Oct 1 to facilitate further negotiating rounds in the future, the Ministry Of International Trade and Industry said in a statement here Monday.

The eighth round of the Malaysia-US FTA negotiations was held on July 14 to 18 in Washington DC, with the focus on six working groups addressing issues on services, investment, intellectual property rights, agriculture, sanitary and phytosanitary measures as well as legal and final provisions.

The groups have continued to discuss outstanding contentious issues, according to the ministry.

On services, Malaysia is considering allowing US participation in sectors where investment, technology and expertise will be needed for further development, the ministry said.

Both countries are also exploring possibilities of business collaboration and capacity building in the services sector within the framework of the Malaysia-US FTA, it said.

Both sides agreed to review their respective positions in the outstanding issues in order to arrive at a mutually acceptable solution over the next few months, the ministry said.

It added that both sides also agreed to provide more information to each other to facilitate a reconsideration of their positions.

 source: Bernama