Malaysia called on member countries of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) – especially the United States – to focus on the market access element, namely capacity building and technical assistance in the framework of his initiative.
International Trade and Industry Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali said IPEF is an instrument of economic diplomacy aimed at enhancing cooperation among member countries.
He said the IPEF was different from other free trade agreements such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) because it had a clear market access element.
“IPEF members are countries with different origins and levels of development.
“Thus, through the element of capacity building and technical assistance, we can narrow or bridge the development gaps between countries,” he said during the Dewan Rakyat Q&A today. today.
Azmin was responding to a question from Wong Hon Wai (PH-Bukit Bendera) on the difference between IPEF and CPTPP and how Malaysia can balance economic diplomacy with China which is not a member of IPEF .
IPEF currently includes 14 countries: United States, Australia, Brunei, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Azmin said IPEF has the potential to enhance economic resilience and competitiveness, regional interconnectivity and prosperity, as well as contribute to the post-pandemic economic recovery process.
He said the proposed inclusion of the market access element was submitted during IPEF’s two-day virtual ministerial-level meeting that started on Tuesday.
He also expressed Malaysia’s willingness to participate in the four pillars of the IPEF framework, namely trade; supply chains; clean energy, decarbonization and infrastructure; taxation and the fight against corruption.
He said Malaysia’s involvement in the first pillar was important because the country had no platform for bilateral economic cooperation with the United States outside of the Trade and Energy Framework Agreement. investment.
“IPEF is seen as a suitable platform for the two countries to discuss various trade-related issues, such as sharing efforts to improve Malaysia’s standing in the human trafficking report.
“(We are also) in a position to increase cooperation with the US government to strengthen Malaysia’s ability to comply with the latest international regulations and standards and to further reduce the issuance of suspension of release orders to Malaysian companies. “, did he declare.