PETALING JAYA, Jan 16, 2016:

Malaysia will be left behind in terms of investments if it does not enter the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), says its chief negotiator Datuk J. Jayasiri.

He said the country stood to gain from signing the agreement, as it showed the country’s readiness to compete in an open market without neglecting the small to medium enterprises (SMEs).

He added the country would also attract more foreign investors who would have more confidence in the nation’s policies as Malaysia would prove that it was investor-friendly.

“Malaysia will be left behind in competing for investments when compared with Vietnam and Singapore if we do not join the TPPA.

“We also stand to benefit earlier if we are among the first to enter the deal,” he said during a question and answer session on the TPPA, which was organised by Umno Youth in Kelana Jaya here, today.

During the session, Jayasiri, who was also Ministry of International Trade and Industries (MITI) Strategy and Monitoring secretary-general, said Malaysia still had a two-year period to decide on whether it would sign the ratification of the deal.

“The ratification is to be done in 24 months and if all countries agree to sign it, the agreement will come into effect in 60 days,” he said.

“Perhaps we would be with the TPPA in 2018. If not all of the 12 countries have ratified, the next step is to wait for six of the 12 countries listed to take part in the TPPA,” he added,

Asked for a response to a claim made by a non-governmental organisation that wages would only be increased by RM25 by 2027, Jayasiri brushed it off, claiming it was utter “nonsense”.

The Bantah TPPA group deputy chairman Azlan Awang had churned out the figure based on a cost benefit analysis which had been done by professional services provider PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

Azlan said the people would not only enjoy a minimal increase in wages but would also suffer a decline in household income between 2018-2027 by RM117.

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