With the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) looking unlikely to come to fruition, Malaysia is working hard to conclude the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
RCEP was launched in November 2012 with the aim of establishing better economic cooperation between the 10 Asean members and six trading partners of China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
Deputy Foreign Minister Reezal Merican Naina Merican said the combined members represent 29%, or US$19 trillion (RM83.7 trillion), of the global gross domestic product (GDP).
“Malaysia is taking a pragmatic approach. We cannot depend on one country or over-rely on one market for economic advantage.”
Reezal was replying to Sim Tze Tzin (DAP-Bayan Baru), who had asked for the government’s stand and policy after Donald Trump won the presidential elections.
The TPPA that Malaysia had signed with the US is under threat as the US president-elect has vowed to scrap the pact and return jobs to the Americans.
The TPPA’s member countries are the United States, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Chile, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand and Brunei, who together represent more than 40% of the world’s gross domestic product.
Reezal said Wisma Putra was also monitoring and collecting data on Trump’s key appointments to serve as indicators for potential cooperation with the US.
He said such data would provide the signals for what to expect from the new US administration.
“We are still optimistic of a good working relationship with the US,” Reezal said in the Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday.
Trump has declined to signal any changes in US diplomatic policies before taking the oath of presidency.
“We cannot rush to assumptions as it would result in prejudgment. We will have to wait and see,” said Reezal.
Source : Minderjeet Kaur@FMT Reporters Online