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Malaysia hopes APEC members will solidify work on FTAAP

23/05/2022 03:56 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, May 23 (Bernama) -- Malaysia hopes members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) will solidify and concretise the work on the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) by focusing on new and emerging issues with greater inclusiveness and shared responsibility between the public and private sectors.

Deputy International Trade and Industries Minister Datuk Lim Ban Hong, who led the Malaysian delegation to the 28th APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) meeting in Bangkok, said this would ensure a trade ecosystem that is robust, responsive and relevant.

He said this in support of the urge by Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) 2022 meeting chair Jurin Laksanawisit for APEC members to progress APEC’s work in deepening regional economic integration, with a renewed focus to realise the FTAAP, towards achieving the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040.

Jurin is Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister.

The MRT also deliberated on reconnecting people, trade, and investment to create a resilient and prosperous Asia-Pacific region for sustainable and inclusive growth in which the ministers commended the work pursued by APEC on safe passage to ensure seamless cross-border travel.

In his intervention, Lim reaffirmed Malaysia’s commitment to collaborate with other APEC economies in pursuing the initiatives to harmonise travel requirements for a seamless resumption of cross-border travel and movement of goods in the Asia-Pacific region.

He added that strengthening regional digital adoption is also crucial as an enabler to catalyse economic growth, as well as adopting green elements in the growth trajectory.

Lim commended the ongoing work on Bio-Circular-Green Economy Model by Thailand, in line with Malaysia’s 12th National Plan focus on advancing green growth for sustainability and resilience, and the National Investment Aspirations emphasis on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) elements in doing business.

With the 12th World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference (MC12) just weeks away, the MRT reaffirmed their support to the Multilateral Trading System.

In this regard, Lim echoed the strong views on the importance for the WTO to produce ambitious MC12 outcomes, including in responding to the pandemic by accelerating the public health and economic recovery.

He expressed hope for a successful outcome from the ongoing negotiations on the temporary WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) waiver of certain intellectual property protections, towards an equitable, affordable and accessible COVID-19 vaccine for all, as well as the trade facilitation measures to address the challenges brought about by the pandemic.

Malaysia also urged the need to conclude the long and outstanding issues, namely the negotiations on fisheries subsidies and agriculture that would place food security at the forefront, as well as the need to expedite the reform efforts at the WTO, especially the imperative to have an enforceable dispute settlement body.


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