SINGAPORE, Oct 8 — Malaysia is fully committed towards achieving the objective of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in deepening regional economic integration and building upon the rule base multilateral trading system.

This is according to the Malaysian Senior Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Azmin Ali who was here attending the 6th Meeting of the CPTPP Commission.

“Today marks a momentous occasion for Malaysia. After five long years we finally ratify the CPTPP,” said Azmin in his brief remarks at a joint media conference held after the meeting which was attended by 10 other partners.

“We firmly believed that CPTPP will further add impetus to our ongoing economic recovery efforts particularly in pushing forward an agenda of growth that is progressive, sustainable and inclusive,” he added.

In a joint ministerial statement issued after the meeting, CPTPP members welcomed Malaysia’s ratification of the partnership.

Malaysia’s addition as the ninth party to the CPTPP will further deepen economic integration, boost the economic coverage of the agreement and enhance the mutual benefits that parties reap from the CPTPP, said the statement.

Meanwhile, in a series of tweets related to the meeting, Azmin among others touched on supply chains.

“I proposed a regional initiative that entails each country having a national stockpile of critical products of which the particular country has a comparative advantage.

“This is most important to ensure that the CPTPP supply chains are more resilient, robust and well-integrated by improving transparency, diversity, and security,” he tweeted.

According to Azmin, it is anticipated that the CPTPP implementation will lead to an increase in exports, which is projected at US$354.7 billion.

Trade balance remains in strong surplus projected at 8.5 per cent of gross domestic product in 2030, he said, adding that investments into Malaysia are also expected to increase by US$112.3 billion over 2021-2030.

As the host country, today’s meeting which was held at Sands Expo & Convention Centre was chaired by Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong.

Gan hosted ministers and senior officials representing Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru and Vietnam.

Earlier, in his opening remarks, Gan said the CPTPP has delivered economic benefits to businesses, workers and consumers whereby there has been an increase in trade among the members.

Gan revealed that trade in goods is estimated to have increased to US$535 billion in 2021 from US$467 billion in 2019.

“This amounts to an almost 15 per cent increase despite the pandemic,” said Gan citing the statistics from recent studies completed by Singapore’s Asia Competitiveness Institute.

“Similar upward trend for trade in services has been observed, driven by the growth in digital services, especially for telecommunications and information services,” he said.

Updating on the expansion of the CPTPP to aspirant economies, Gan said “discussion for the United Kingdom’s accession is ongoing”.

Gan said the CPTPP has also attracted the attention of several aspirant economies, with five applications received since the agreement entered into force in 2018.

“This high level of interest is a testament to the value of the CPTPP and further anchors the agreement as a pathway towards a Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific,” he said.

The next CPTPP Commission meeting will be hosted by New Zealand in 2023.

The CPTPP was signed on March 8, 2018.

This agreement has already been ratified and implemented in stages since December 2018 by Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Vietnam and Peru.

The CPTPP will enter into force for Malaysia on Nov 29, 2022. — Bernama