Today’s Highlights: 9 March 2018

  1. Malaysia Signs Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership
  2. Government to Ensure Ready Assistance Following Quake in Ranau
  3. Malaysian Investors Urged to Consider Indonesia’s Manufacturing Sector
  4. Nova Pharma Solutions Lists on Leap Market of Bursa Malaysia Securities

Malaysia Signs Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership

Malaysia and ten other Asia Pacific countries – Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Viet Nam – signed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in Santiago, Chile on 8 March 2018. The CPTPP was concluded on 23 January 2018 in Tokyo after eight rounds of negotiations which started in early 2017 at Ministers and Senior Officials level. CPTPP Ministers shared the view that, by achieving a high-standard and well-balanced outcome, the Agreement will strengthen the mutually-beneficial linkages among participating economies, boost trade, investment and economic growth in the Asia-Pacific Region, and create new opportunities for businesses, consumers and workers.

Minister of International Trade and Industry, Dato Sri Mustapa Mohamad said in light of recent protectionist sentiment which is prevalent in a number of countries, the signing of the CPTPP is timely as it sends a strong signal of our commitment towards an open and liberal trading system. What the world needs now is more trade and investment flows and not restricted markets.

“Despite the absence of the US, Malaysia still stands to gain from market access to countries like Canada, Peru and Mexico with whom we currently do not have preferential trading arrangement. In addition to the market access, our participation in the CPTPP will also benefit us in terms of enhancing governance in a number of economic sectors, strengthening economic cooperation among member countries and promoting adoption of international standards. Malaysia believes that this agreement will help us to further promote our trade and investment agenda and mitigate the challenges of the global economic environment.”

Dato Sri Mustapa added that overall, Malaysia stands to gain from CPTPP by opening up the door for more Malaysian companies to expand their presence beyond the borders of the country as well as strengthening Malaysia’s position as a premier investment destination – which will eventually create additional quality jobs for Malaysians. He said the Malaysian public at large would also benefit from the increase in consumer choices on goods and services in the market.

“Malaysia has already begun taking the necessary steps to amend the relevant laws in order to complete the ratification process and enable the implementation of the CPTPP as early as possible. As one of the pioneer members who has successfully negotiated the Agreement ‘on our terms’, Malaysia should not miss the opportunity to grab the benefits of this Agreement and efforts to complete the ratification process should be intensified. With the conclusion of the CPTPP, MITI and our colleagues from other Ministries and Agencies will now focus our attention on concluding the RCEP negotiation. It is our view that both CPTPP and RCEP will serve as building blocks towards a more open and fairer trade and investment regime in the Asia Pacific region.”

Government to Ensure Ready Assistance Following Quake in Ranau

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the government would ensure assistance was readily available following a 5.2 magnitude earthquake which shocked Ranau last night. “I hope all affected areas will take precautionary measures while the government will ensure assistance is readily available,” he said in a Twitter posting today. The Meteorological Department in a statement yesterday said the moderate earthquake in Ranau, Sabah, at 9.06 pm which was located at 6.1 degrees north and 116.6 east, however did not pose threat of a tsunami. Among the areas found affected by tremours were Kota Kinabalu, Kundasang, Penampang, Tuaran, Kudat and Kota Marudu. According to Sabah Civil Defence Force (APM), rescue operations which ended at about 4.30 am involved 239 people including 130 climbers at the rest house in Panalaban at 3,272 metres which is the base for climbers before ascending to the mountain peak at 4,095 metres. The strongest earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale with its epicentre at Mount Kinabalu occurred in 2015.

Malaysian Investors Urged to Consider Indonesia’s Manufacturing Sector

Former Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Prof Emeritus Dorodjatun Kuntjoro-Jakti said Malaysian investors should consider expanding their investment portfolio in Indonesia into the manufacturing sector, as well as developing industry clusters. He noted that Malaysian investments at present were mainly in the plantation sector and expanding the portfolio would further boost bilateral economic relations between both countries. He also noted a lack of private sector participation between both countries. “Malaysia should go beyond plantation … all the way into manufacturing. But again, what can be very attractive is if we can agree to establish an industrial cluster, maybe the size (of an) economic zone in China.”

Nova Pharma Solutions Lists on Leap Market of Bursa Malaysia Securities

Nova Pharma Solutions Berhad which is in the provision of engineering solutions including technical documentation, validation and project execution for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, has been listed on the LEAP Market of Bursa Malaysia Securities and officially commenced trading this morning. Speaking after the listing ceremony, Chief Executive Officer of Nova Pharma Solutions Berhad, Mr. Khoo Boo Wie said, “We intend to take the Company forward by leveraging on our strong track record and continue deepening our in-roads into our existing markets and as well as opening up new markets.” Moving forward, Nova Pharma intends to establish new offices overseas. Nova Pharma’s businesses for the past three financial years are mainly focused in Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan. The Company foresees a huge potential for the expansion of business in Taiwan as the Taiwanese Government is in the midst of transforming Taiwan into the biotechnology and medical Research & Development (“R&D”) hub in Asia.


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