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Lots Of Work Still Needs To Be Done Despite Optimism On Outcome Of TPP Talks In Singapore: Mustapa
SINGAPORE, Feb 25 (Bernama) -- International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed says despite progress made at the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Ministerial Meeting in Singapore, there are still a lot of work to be done before the free trade agreement comes to a conclusion.
He said the statement issued after the conclusion of the four-day ministerial meeting here Tuesday had stated a lot of optimism.
"There's actually a lot more work to be done before the agreement on the trade talks can conclude. I would like to tamper the optimism reflected in the statement) with some realism.
"On one hand there has been progress, on the other there are gaps, some of these gaps are quite big, especially for us in Malaysia," he told reporters at the end of the meeting.
Mustapa said he was pleased with the outcome of the negotiations as there was goodwill and readiness to look into flexibility into areas of concern.
"Although there is no landing zones yet, no agreement yet but at least there is some way forward, but of course as I said we are going to look at all this and if this is fundamental to our policy for our law, so it is difficult for us to compromise," he said.
He noted that market access was the core issue with Malaysia was no exception as this is the heart and soul of any trade agreement where many countries are looking at TPP from the market access point of view.
He said market access was certainly very difficult.
"I do not want to make specific references, but to us this is core to the TPP," he added.
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