KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 13, 2015:

The presence of companies from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) member countries in Malaysia does not mean that the country will be re-colonised, says International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

In a statement today, he said these companies had already been operating in the country as Malaysia encouraged foreign investments.

“The government views that the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) will create a ‘win-win’ situation for every member country.

“The reality that we need to recognise is that the Malaysian market is limited and local companies and professionals have long explored opportunities abroad,” he said.

Mustapa said many Malaysian professionals were already working in various sectors overseas including TPP member countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Brunei.

He emphasised that while priority was still given to Asean countries, Malaysia needed to make an effort to expand trade relations with other countries as reliance on one or two countries could be risky.

Up to June 2015, Malaysian investments abroad amounted to RM522 billion, which exceeded the RM477 billion foreign investment in the country, he said.

Mustapa said the participation in TPPA did not mean the country would accept capitalist system in total.

“Malaysia will continue to execute its own development model based on an inclusive-driven economic growth,” he said.

The participation in the TPPA, he said, did not mean that Bumiputera institutions such as Majlis Amanah Rakyat and Unit Peneraju Agenda Bumiputera would be neglected.

He said Malaysia had made the decision to participate in the TPPA discussions after taking into consideration benefits from the economic aspects.

“We have the opportunity to market products such as textiles, electronics, palm-based products and other products at more competitive prices to TPP market, including the US, which is the largest consumer market in the world,” he said.

Malaysian participation in the TPPA, he said, would also not affect Malaysia’s economic relations with China.

He said Malaysia has been a strong supporter of the ‘One Belt, One Road’ economic initiatives spearheaded by China.

As an Asean country, he said, Malaysia had also benefited from the Asean-China Free Trade Agreement which had been progressing for almost 10 years.

At the same time, he said, Malaysia and other sean countries were also negotiating for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership involving 16 countries, including China.

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