Malay Mail - 25 November 2021
Proposed amendments needed for RCEP ratification to be tabled in Parliament next month, says Azmin
The proposed amendments to three Acts, which are necessary to complete the domestic ratification process of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), will be tabled in Parliament next month, according to Senior Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.
The draft amendments to the Acts are being refined by the Attorney General’s Chambers and after the amendments have been approved, Malaysia will submit the instrument of ratification to the Asean secretariat, said Mohamed Azmin, who is also the International Trade and Industry Minister.
“As stipulated in Paragraph 3 of Article 20.6 of the RCEP agreement, 60 days after the ratification instrument is sent to the Asean secretariat, the RCEP agreement will take effect on Malaysia,” he said during a question-and-answer session in the Dewan Rakyat today.
He was answering a question from Wong Hon Wai (PH-Bukit Bendera) who wanted to know the status of Malaysia’s participation in the RCEP as the agreement was expected to be effective from January 2022.
“It will be tabled in Parliament in December after being scrutinised for the assembly’s approval before Malaysia submits the ratification instrument to the Asean secretariat, and this is the government’s commitment to ratify the RCEP agreement by the end of this year,” Mohamed Azmin said.
The RCEP ratification process requires amendments to three Acts under the purview of the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs relating to intellectual property rights, namely the Patents Act, Copyright Act and Trademarks Act.
The senior minister said that based on the assessment of the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade), the value of the country’s exports is expected to increase by RM44 billion a year when the RCEP comes into force.
“As of Nov 2, 2021, Singapore, China, Japan, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, New Zealand, and Australia have ratified the RCEP agreement.
“Following this development, RCEP member countries have completed the minimum requirements for ratification and the effective date of the RCEP agreement is Jan 1, 2022,” he said.
However, Azmin said this enforcement currently only applies to the 10 countries. — Bernama