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Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): Unleash greater business opportunities, and achieve a meaningful footprint in Asia-Pacific.

The Silk
Route may signify a historic trading route; in reality, it was a gateway that
connected people, promised new exchanges of trade, culture, ideas, talent and
much more. TPP can be termed as the New Silk Route, a pathway to unlock the
future growth potential of the countries to the pact. TPP is the proposed Free
Trade Agreement (FTA), currently being negotiated between 11 countries
including Malaysia, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Mexico, New
Zealand, Peru, United States, Singapore and Vietnam. The objective is to
strengthen the economic ties between these nations and encourage investment
flows that will foster new growth for the member economies.

Malaysia is
a fast developing nation and such an FTA could be an effective key to unlock
more international trade opportunities, in view of the fact that TPP will
substantially reduce tariffs, open up new trading opportunities or larger
markets, and establish a regional / international co-operative regime on issues
related to customs procedures, labour practices, intellectual property and
competitive policies. This could transform member countries into a ‘Single
Market’ for Malaysian products and services, taking the country’s export
potential to a much higher level.

SMEs will
be able to leverage on the value brought about by TPP as it will help establish
better recognition for their products and services and access new markets at a
reduced cost, through elimination of trade barriers. TPP includes four of
Malaysia’s top ten trading partners namely Singapore, China, United States and
Australia which contribute to more than 50% of our exports. This FTA will help
increase our export margins and apart from providing opportunities for enterprise development between Malaysia and
other TPP member nations, it will also strengthen the cooperation in brand building,
organic growth in bilateral trade, regional productivity, and above all, global
competitiveness.

The odds
are this could be a reality for us without compromising the social, cultural, religious
and economic fabric of our society, as well
as, our national sovereignty in all its forms. The provisions made under TPP could very well substantiate the
Government’s efforts and commitment towards economic transformation of our
nation. It would prove to be a systematic effort to internationalise our
domestic economy. While aspiring to emerge as a developed nation by 2020, it is
time for Malaysia to change our domestic policies tended towards protectionism,
with more emphasis on liberal policies that foster regional and international
trade partnerships, benefiting the economy as a whole.

We can rest
assure that the Government remains committed to the
agenda of developing and promoting local companies, products, contractors,
talent and many others through various developmental policies, and through TPP,
local companies including SMEs, from strategic sectors, can participate in
government procurement in TPP member countries, expanding their trading
horizons. But at the same time, the Government is taking the necessary measures
to protect the local SMEs by excluding government procurement set aside for our
local SMEs from being opened up to SMEs from TPP member countries.

In light of the wealth of opportunities
offered by TPP, let us embrace every opening available that may take our
industry to new growth territories and, let us witness the ‘value’ in Malaysia’s economic integration with the region and the world. TPP will surely help achieve coherence in
regulations, namely good regulatory practices, good governance and transparency
in the implementation of policies and processes that govern Malaysia’s supply
chain, and liberalisation, which will help reduce prices of goods and the cost
of living. Thus, Malaysia should tread on the New
Silk Route, with caution not scepticism, with hope not despair, with optimistic
disposition not a closed mindset.

For more
information on TPP, please go to:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Trans-Pacific-Partnership-Agreement/19436...

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