Miti Blog

Ministry of International Trade and Industry Malaysia Official Blog


Posted by admin2 on June 23, 2015 at 12:36 pm

Mr. Chairman, Distinguished Delegates
Overview of the Global Economic Scenario

·    We are meeting at a time when the world economy is facing unprecedented challenges.
·    Trade has grown more slowly than expected in recent months. World trade growth forecast for 2011 has been revised to 5.8%, down from an earlier estimate of 6.5%.
·    In light of this challenging time, the greatest mistake countries can make is to look inwards and slide towards protectionism. There has been an increase in new trade restrictions. We hope that these measures are temporary in nature and that Governments demonstrate responsibility and commitment in dismantling them and discontinuing this negative trend.
·    As a trade dependent country, Malaysia too is not immune to the negative impact of the economic and financial crisis. However, we believe that a conducive, facilitative, business and regulatory environment are critical factors that would help steer the nation out of the economic and financial turmoil. Thus, Malaysia recently introduced several liberalisation measures and relaxed restrictions on foreign investment in key services sectors.  Despite the challenges we face, my Government will continue to resist protectionism and refrain from raising barriers to international trade.
Enhancing the WTO

·    Malaysia believes that the WTO’s primary role as the custodian of multilateral trade must be further strengthened and upheld.
·    To effectively serve the interests of its members, the roles and functions of existing Councils and Committees can be further streamlined and strengthened to be more responsive, relevant and adaptive to global issues and challenges.
·    In this connection, Malaysia fully supports an exchange of views towards confidence-building and understanding among Members regarding the objectives, contents and policy approaches underpinning regional initiatives and hopefully build coherence and complementarity between the RTAs and the WTO.
Doha Development Agenda

·    Allow me now to share my views on the Doha Round. The credibility of the WTO is at stake. Multilateral trade liberalisation has stalled. Bilateral and regional preferential trade agreements has been the order of the day, depriving smaller trading nations from the benefits of trade liberalisation.
·    Despite the setbacks and the impasse, we should not give up. We need to find a breakthrough.
·    We need to reduce our rhetoric and look at new approaches in our collective attempt to conclude the Doha negotiations including a review of the single undertaking.  While there is still apprehension about moving away from the single undertaking, we should be realistic about possible options. In this regard, Malaysia sees possibility to advance pragmatically in specific areas of the Doha work programme where progress can be achieved, and where consensus agreements might be reached in accordance with the Doha mandate. We should focus on harvesting the low hanging fruits to achieve results in the short term and find compromise on do-able areas. Malaysia believes that trade facilitation is well advanced and could be possible candidate for an agreement.
·    Two thirds of the Members are from the developing world, thus the centrality of the development dimension in the Doha mandate needs to be preserved.  Issues of concern to LDC members need to be given priority.
·    We underscore the commitment made in Hong Kong on Duty Free Quota Free (DFQF) market access for all products originating from least-developed countries. For Malaysia, we are already providing DFQF access for more than 90% of products from LDCs.
·    2012 will be a difficult year. It is crucial that we have a clear work programme and continue to build trust amongst ourselves as we negotiate. We must break the deadlock and identify the low hanging fruits and harvest them in 2012.

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