Embrace TPP but help firms adjust to compete, Chinese trade group says

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 12 — The Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) today welcomed independent analyses that concluded that signing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would be positive for Malaysia.

But the group stressed that Putrajaya must look for ways to enhance participation, particularly from the small and medium enterprises that would have to compete against bigger and more established competitors.

“We reiterate our earlier recommendation to form a high level private-public committee to explore further the effects and impacts of the terms of TPPA, and look at ways to promote trade and investments and enhance our participation so that we can be assured of the growth and economic integration driven by the TPP waves,” ACCCIM president Datuk Ter Leong Yap told a press conference here.

PwC Advisory Services Sdn Bhd and the Institute of Strategic and International Studies Malaysia (ISIS) recently released two cost-benefit analyses in which they concluded that the TPP would result in a positive balance for Malaysia.

By participating, PwC projected that Malaysia will achieve a gross domestic product cumulative gain of US$107 billion to US$211 billion (RM890.07) over the period 2018 to 2027.

Ter said this provides ample opportunities for Malaysian businesses, including the chance to access new markets like Peru, Canada and Mexico.

But the group said Malaysian businesses would need to adapt quickly to tackle the challenges posed by the TPP, like the rising cost of labour due to the agreement’s requirement for signatory countries to meet international labour standards.

“Now they would have to find ways to adapt… an example would be to provide added value to their products,”said ACCIM deputy secretary-general II Michael Chai.

Ter added the group plans to organise seminars and workshops soon for its members to help them prepare for the changes once the TPP deal is signed.

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