KUALA LUMPUR: Eleven Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) members are expected to decide on the future of the pact in May this year during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) trade ministerial meeting in Vietnam.
International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said the TPP-related ministers from the pact were expected to meet during the meeting to decide on the next course of action.
He said Malaysia was open to any proposals in relation to the TPP, whether forging bilateral agreements or forming a new pact without the US, but the decision would hinge on mutual understanding achieved during the meeting.
“Bilateral is one, and the pact among 11 (countries) is another, but it will require fairly massive renegotiations (among members) on many issues and it will be tough.
“Perhaps bilateral (agreements) with a few countries that we don’t yet have bilateral agreements with, including Canada, Mexico and Peru, is a better option,” he told reporters following a Chinese New Year networking session with the private sector hosted the Ministry of International Trade and Industry and its agencies, here today.
On Jan 23, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order to withdraw the US from the TPP, after five years of negotiations.
The 11 TPP member states are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.
Commenting on the fourth quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth, which stood at 4.5 per cent, he said the ministry would continue to work hard to spur investment and trade growth.
“This requires us to be more aggressive in investment promotion and commerce where we must ensure that Malaysia can continue to attract investment while improving domestic investment.
“We have seen commendable export growth in November and December, which has contributed to good GDP growth in the fourth quarter and we expect this trend to continue this year,” he said.--BERNAMA