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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Cost-benefit analysis of TPP will be revealed, Dewan told

The cost-benefit analysis on the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) will be tabled at the parliament sitting before the government signs the deal.

International Trade and Industry minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed told the Dewan Rakyat yesterday the current cost-benefit analysis is incomplete as some of the contents was analyzed based on assumptions before discussing between TPPA parties.

"We will conduct another cost-benefit analysis after concluding the negotiations, expected to be by first quarter next year," replied Mustapa to a question raised by Kelana Jaya member of parliament (MP) (DAP) Wong Chen.

Wong wanted to know the latest development on cost-benefit study of TPPA which the ministry assigned Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) to conduct a study.

The report should have been submitted by December 2013.

Wong also wanted to know on whether the document will be made public as well as given to Parliamentary Caucus.

"The cost-benefit analysis is being done in two stages, the current interim phase and a second part to be conducted after the negotiations concluded.

“The government will only make a decision on whether to sign or not, after getting feedback from the public and members of Parliament,”  said Mustapa.

Mustapa noted that two main issues raised in TPPA are secrecy and sovereignty.

"We know these two are important. That is why we are very careful and we take into account these views, which give important input to our negotiators,” he added.

The minister also said the TPPA will help Malaysia to establish business ties with countries such as Mexico, Canada and United States of America, which has no free trade agreement (FTA) formed before.

"If we sign the TPPA, we have market access to countries such as Mexico, Canada and America. Among the sectors that will see large benefits would be manufacturing, commodities, tropical plywood and electric and electrical products," he said.

The TPPA is a free-trade agreement negotiated by the USA, Malaysia and nine other nations as part of the larger Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership since 2010.

The move has been widely criticised by oppositions, non-governmental organisations, as well as former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed and former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin saying Malaysia will lose out if it agrees to the terms and conditions of TPPA.

Malaysia's long list of concerns in the TPPA include intellectual property, tobacco policy, investor state dispute settlement, state-owned enterprises and government procurement preference for Bumiputeras.

Sumber - The Malaysian Reserve

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