No compromise on Malaysia’s sovereignty in TPPA, says ministry

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) talks which started yesterday in Kota Kinabalu will not end up compromising Malaysia’s sovereignty as feared by critics of the free trade pact.

Ministry of International Trade and Industry secretary-general Datuk Dr Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria said: “The most important thing is that we will not compromise Malaysia's sovereignty and that we will stick to our policy.”

She said this at the Young Entrepreneurs Organisation of Malaysia forum and dialogue on the TPPA in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

She said the TPPA negotiations are talks among equals and even if only one party did not agree, there would be no conclusion to the agreement.

Hence, it is unlikely that the TPPA, which involves 12 countries, will be signed in October as initially expected, since there are many areas that have not been agreed on.

Malaysia joined as a party to the TPPA negotiations in October 2010.

She added that the talks included issues related to the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). – Bernama, July 16, 2013.