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Malaysia becomes 9th country to ratify 11-member CPTPP pact

Nation hopes joining bloc will help it to expand trade to $655.9bn in 2030

Malaysia has become the latest to ratify the CPTPP, following Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. Brunei and Chile are the only ones yet to do so.   © Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR (Kyodo) -- The Malaysian government said Wednesday it has ratified an 11-member comprehensive trans-Pacific trade pact in the hope that the trade deal will boost trade and allow Malaysia better access to countries it has yet to sign a bilateral free trade deal with.

"On Friday, Sept. 30, 2022, the government of Malaysia officially submitted the instrument of ratification for the CPTPP to New Zealand, the CPTPP depository," the Ministry of International Trade and Industry said in a statement, referring to the acronym of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Other members of the free trade agreement, originally called the Trans-Pacific Partnership, are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

The 11 countries signed the deal in March 2018, and Malaysia is the ninth country to have ratified the CPTPP, leaving Brunei and Chile to follow suit.

Malaysia said findings of its "Cost-Benefit Analysis" showed that under the CPTPP, Malaysia's total trade is expected to increase to $655.9 billion in 2030. The country's total trade stood at around 2.2 trillion ringgit ($481 billion) in 2021, according to the Statistics Department.

"The CPTPP also broadens Malaysia's access to new markets such as Canada, Mexico and Peru, which are not covered by any existing free trade agreement, providing access to a wider range of high quality raw materials at competitive prices and increases the country's attractiveness as an investment destination," the MITI said.

Malaysia is also looking forward to the participation of new members such as Britain, China, Taiwan, Ecuador and Costa Rica, which have officially applied to join the CPTPP.

"With the eventual inclusion of more economies, particularly the U.K. and China into the CPTPP, Malaysian exporters will gain wider and deeper market access opportunities," the ministry said.

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