KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 – THE government will share the pros and cons of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) at Parliament before it decides on signing the trade partnership, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said. He said a cost-benefit analysis on Malaysia’s involvement in the TPPA was being conducted and would be made known at the Dewan Rakyat and to the people.
“The government will make a decision only after getting feedback from the public and members of parliament,” he said in reply to a question by Wong Chen (PKR-Kelana Jaya). Mustapa said the Institute of Strategic and International Studies would research on the country’s interest in the TPPA and that PricewaterhouseCoopers was appointed to look into the impact of it on Bumiputera and small and medium enterprises.
“After the cost-benefit analysis are carried out, it will be tabled at Parliament for discussion. Any decision made by the government on the matter will go through Parliament. “We will only sign the TPPA if it benefits the country. Another round of analyses will be carried out after final negotiation and this will be shared at Parliament and with the people.”
Mustapa said the government wanted to look into issues of market access and trade regulations before making any decision on the TPPA. In terms of market access, he said, Malaysia could see profits with countries that did not have international trade agreements with it and benefits could come in the electrical and electronic sector.
However, such profits depended on factors that needed to be ironed out. “We appreciate the feedback on TPPA but, like many things, there can never be something that is perfect. There are good and bad in everything,” he said, replying to a question from Datuk Hasbullah Osman (BN-Gerik), who asked whether Malaysia’s participation in the TPPA would be profitable.
Mustapa said three phases were involved before the TPPA could be signed: final negotiations, signing of agreement and rectification. He said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak attended the TPPA Heads of Government meeting at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders’ summit on Nov 10 in Beijing to discuss issues related to the agreement. Mustapa had attended a TPPA Ministers-level meeting at the same event two days before that.