Malaysia

Flexibility is key to signing of Pacific trade pact, Najib says at Apec dialogue - Bernama

October 07, 2013

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today expressed his concern on a few areas in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) at the Apec CEO Summit dialogue in Bali.

He also stressed that "flexibility" would be key to the successful negotiation of the agreement at the dialogue themed Investment in Infrastructure and Human Capital - Investing for Economic Resilience.

“We do have a few areas of great concern because TPP is a different free trade agreement,” said Najib, who was a panel member with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, in response to a question by the moderator, Diane Brady, a senior editor with Bloomberg, about his concerns on the TPPA.

The prime minister said the TPPA goes beyond the normal trade and investment in the free trade agreements that Malaysia has with many countries.

“As you go beyond that, into areas of intellectual properties, investor-state dispute settlement, government procurement, state-owned enterprises, environment and labour, so you impinge on fundamentally the sovereign right of the country to make regulation and policy.

"That is a tricky part and that is why we ask for flexibility,” he said.

Najib had said yesterday that it was unlikely that the TPPA would be concluded by year-end, the scheduled deadline.

The TPPA is a proposed free trade agreement under negotiation by the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) member countries – Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, South Korea, The United States and Vietnam. – Bernama, October 7, 2013.