No new issues will be brought into the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to ensure the talks are wrapped up by year-end. Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed (pic) said RCEP was among the key topic discussed at the recently-ended ASEAN ministerial meeting in Manila. “We are still working on finalising the RCEP this year and we don’t want any issues to be brought in as it would delay concluding the process.” he told a press conference in Kuala Lumpur.
On the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Datuk Seri Mustapa said Malaysia was “in no hurry to bury the agreement”. “Malaysia has been one such country which, while being disappointed by the US withdrawal from the TPP, has come to terms with what many Asian leaders describe as the “ground realities. The coming meeting of the trade ministers of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) in May in Vietnam will also discuss this issue and provide the direction for the future course on the TPP. The TPP was pursued by us because Malaysia did not have a free trade agreement (FTA) with the US,” he said.