Malaysia to step up trade with Asean, Asian countries

Jan 29, 2017

Mustapa Mohamed - International Trade and Industry Minister and Kelantan Federal Action Council Chairman

Malaysia will step up trade with Asean countries and Asian countries with the official withdrawal of the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on Jan 23.

International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed said Asean member states would the main focus of Malaysia’s trade, followed Northeast Asian countries like China, South Korea, Japan and India, which were also important.

“So far, China is still our largest trading partner. This is not new as we have always worked together with China,” he told reporters after visiting and presenting contributions to the Chinese community in Jalan Merican in Kota Bahru, Kelantan today in conjunction with the Chinese New Year.

US President Donald Trump started his first day in office on Jan 23 by signing an executive order to pull out of the trade deal, reaffirming his administration’s protectionist policy.

The TPP, which was signed by Malaysia and 11 other countries, including the US, on Feb 4, 2016, could not be implemented without the participation of the US, which made up 60 per cent of the TPP’s combined gross domestic product (GDP).

In order to ratify the deal, at least six countries, comprising 85 per cent of the pact’s overall GDP had to approve it.

Besides Malaysia and the US, the other TPP signatories were Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, Mexico, Peru, and Vietnam. –Bernama