Uncertainty over next year's trade figures

08 Jan 2017 / 19:17 H.

IPOH: The country's trade volume and investment this year will depend on the policies of the new United States administration, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) and exit by Britain from European Union (EU) said Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan.
The Second International Trade and Industry minister said the government was unsure about Donald Trump's trade policies especially on the TPPA, which the incoming American president does not favour.
"If USA is not part of the agreement it will also face problems ... I think the new president is not aware of the negative impact if the agreement does not take off," he told reporters after officiating the new RM16 million SMJK Poi Lam in Bandar Baru Klebang here today.
The school moved from the old premises in Jalan Panglima Bukit Gantang Wahab last year after 61 years.
Ong said Britain's imminent withdrawal from the EU had also cast uncertainty on Malaysia's trade with Europe.
"We are also in the dark as to whether EU will remain strong following Britain's withdrawal ... all these factors will have an impact on world economy and Malaysia is faced with a tough challenge this year.
"We have to be cautious on the happenings at the US and European market ... as for our new markets Malaysia signed a free trade agreement with Turkey in August 2015.
"The agreement increased the country's trade volume by 125% and we will hold consultations with Iran as the next new market.
"Trade sanctions on Iran had been lifted this year by USA and we will sign the agreement ... other potential markets are China, Middle East countries, African Nations and India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Russia.
TPPA had endorsed by 12 countries including Malaysia and covered 40% of the world's economy, which is aimed to enhance economic ties between these nations, slashing tariffs and foster trade to boost growth.
The agreement is designed to potentially create a new single market, something like European Union (EU) which has 28 countries as members.


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