FMM President Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai said in a statement on April 16 that the two FTAs will enable local manufacturers to benefit from the diversification of import sources of industrial inputs and components.
According to Soh, the CPTPP eliminates tariffs on nearly 96 percent of products entering the intra-regional trade and the RCEP will likely cover 90 percent of these products. For Malaysia, the two FTAs will complement each other.
He held that the further integration of regional economies under RCEP and CPTPP, in addition to providing Malaysian exporters with preferential access to growing markets across the Asia Pacific, allows for increase in imports of raw materials and natural-resource-based materials from Latin America and Canada.
According to him, the two FTAs will help reduce costs and time for companies by allowing them to both import and export products anywhere within the East Asia region without meeting the separate requirements for each country.
He said the FMM commends the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) on its commitment to complete domestic procedures for the ratification of RCEP by the first quarter of 2022.
However, the FMM called on the government to hasten the ratification process for RCEP to be implemented by this year to benefit businesses in this time of need as it is imperative to stabilize manufacturing activities and rebuild supply chain connectivity in the region.