Forty-three members of World Trade Organisation (WTO) lauded Malaysia on its impressive achievement, prudent trade and economic policies during the recent two-day 7th Trade Policy Review (TPR) of this country.
The exercise which took place in Switzerland is done every four years and is mandated by the WTO agreement to ensure transparency of trade policies and measures.
Malaysia’s 7th TPR was undertaken for the review period of 2014 to 2017 and chaired by Ambassador Juan Carlos Gonzalez, Colombia’s Permanent Representative to the WTO. Peru’s Permanent Representative to the WTO served as the discussant.
In a statement by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), said the members also recognised that Malaysia’s successful diversification of its economy and economic reforms had contributed to continued growth despite external challenges.
Malaysia was also commended for actively pursuing trade openness through unilateral reforms, regional and bilateral trade arrangements and multilateral rule-making.
“The bold move to rationalise subsidies on fuel and sugar among others indicate Malaysia’s willingness to move towards a market-oriented mechanism.
“Business friendly initiatives such as improvement of the Companies Act were also welcomed as it leads to the reduction in the cost of doing business,” said MITI.
The seventh TPR saw Malaysia receiving 476 written questions from 27 members including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, the European Union, Japan, Singapore, Ukraine and the United States.
The questions covered a wide range of subjects including Malaysia’s intellectual property rights and competition policy, foreign investment regime, import licensing procedures, import tariff structure, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, services sector in particular for finance and energy sub-sectors, and e-commerce.
Improvements were also suggested by the members of WTO on various issues such as Malaysia’s compliance with the Customs Valuation Agreement, timely notification of Malaysia’s various agricultural support programmes, as well as the import licensing regime.
These improvements were said to ensure transparency as well as be in line with Malaysia’s commitments in the WTO.
Adding to the efforts to address emerging issues at the WTO, Malaysia has expressed willingness to exchange views and share experience on the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and E-Commerce.
Meanwhile, Datuk Seri J.Jayasiri in his closing remarks at the TPR reaffirmed Malaysia’s commitment to the multilateral trading system by highlighting the continued efforts of Malaysia in pursuing current issues as well as new areas of interest to the WTO.