KUALA LUMPUR, May 18 – Malaysia is committed to implementing the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) and is ready to commit almost 100 per cent of the provisions under Category A in the Agreement, which will be notified by July 31, 2014, says Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed. The International Trade and Industry Minister said Malaysia has always been a strong advocate of trade facilitation, pointing out that it benefits both the business community and governments in developed and developing economies as well as create jobs and contribute towards economic growth.
“The global economy requires certainty and predictability and this requires the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and APEC to play a leading role in monitoring trade-distorting and protectionist measures that will have adverse impacts on global economic recovery,” he said in a statement Sunday. Mustapa also emphasised the need to remain vigilant to prevent the proliferation of protectionist and trade-distorting measures, while calling on economies to firmly resist any protectionist measures and refrain from raising barriers to international trade. “Instead, they should continue efforts towards the establishment of a more liberalised and fair global trading environment.
“In addition, Malaysia supports the proposal to extend the APEC standstill commitment as well as the rollback of protectionist and trade-distorting measures through the end of 2018,” he said. Malaysia is concerned at the lack of progress in concluding WTO’s Information Technology Agreement, and urges all parties to move away from their entrenched positions and be pragmatic, he said. “Malaysia will be actively involved in the negotiations and we hope that all economies can work extra hard for the swift conclusion of the ITA expansion,” Mustapa said.
Malaysia supports the new initiative on APEC Strategic Blueprint for Promoting Global Value Chains (GVC), he said, adding the blueprint should be designed to facilitate GVC development through a systematic approach. The enhanced collaboration among economies will help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to enhance their capacity and capabilities and encourage investment in value-added activities including manufacturing related services among others, he pointed out. “In addition, GVC should provide the gateway for SMEs to be integrated into the global network which should be a priority for APEC economies in the years ahead,” Mustapa added.