MALAYSIA TO SIGN FTAS WITH HK, IRAN BY YEAR-END

SERDANG, Malaysia — Malaysia is expected to sign free trade agreements (FTAs) with Hong Kong and Iran by year-end, said International Trade and Industry Minister, Ong Ka Chuan.

He said to-date Malaysia has signed 13 FTAs with its ASEAN and dialogue partners.

“We need to speed up the signing of the FTAs as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership is also progressing.

“Not only that, the FTA between Malaysia and European Union (EU) is also advancing,” he told reporters after the Engagement Session at Universiti Putra Malaysia here today.

However, there was a concern on the palm oil sector as the EU has adopted a discriminatory policy towards palm oil, he said.

The EU is Malaysia’s biggest palm oil market and in 2016, palm oil export stood at RM10 billion.

The FTA between Malaysia and 27 EU countries is expected to boost total trade by 20-30 per cent from current 10 per cent.

The EU is Malaysia’s third largest trading partner with total trade in January this year increased 9.7 per cent to RM12.9 billion from the same month a year ago.

In 2016, trade with the EU edged up 0.4 per cent to RM149.1 billion

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK