Malaysia's FTA Involvement
· International trade is an important contributor to Malaysia's economic growth and development. Malaysia's trade policy is to pursue efforts towards creating a more liberalizing and fair global trading environment. While Malaysia continues to accord high priority to the rule-based multilateral trading system under the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Malaysia is also pursuing regional and bilateral trading arrangements to complement the multilateral approach to trade liberalisation.
· Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) are generally aimed at providing the means to achieve quicker and higher levels of liberalisation that would create effective market access between the participants of the FTA. Traditionally confined to trade in goods, with the establishment of the WTO, trade in services has been included in many FTAs.
· Today, FTAs currently pursued with selected countries are not confined to liberalisation and market opening measures alone. They are comprehensive and include investment, trade facilitation, intellectual property rights (IPR) as well as economic cooperation in areas such as:
o competition policy;
o standards and conformity assessment;
o information and communication technology;
o science and technology;
o education and training;
o research and development;
o financial cooperation;
o Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) development; and
o paperless trading.
· Malaysia 's objectives in negotiating FTAs are to:
o seek better market access by addressing tariffs and non-tariff measures;
o further facilitate and promote trade, investment and economic development;
o enhance the competitiveness of Malaysian exporters; and
o build capacity in specific targeted areas through technical cooperation and collaboration.
· Malaysia has established FTAs with the following countries:
o New Zealand;
o Chile; and
Free Trade Agreements under Negotiation
· Malaysia-EFTA Economic Partnership Agreement (MEEPA)
· ASEAN - Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement (AHKFTA)
· ASEAN – Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)