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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   25 November 2013  

U.S. Business Discusses Benefits of TPP for Malaysia

(Kuala Lumpur) A delegation of 18 leading U.S. companies organized by the US-ASEAN Business Council concluded a visit to Malaysia today. The delegation offered their strong support for Malaysia’s leading position in international trade discussions, in particular the win-win possibilities represented by Malaysia’s participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The delegation met with key Malaysian leaders, including Prime Minister Najib, to discuss the continued evolution of the administration’s economic reform agenda centered in the Economic Transformation program. The delegation was led by Kate Clemans, representing Oracle, and Council Vice President for Policy Marc Mealy.
“While differences still remain to be negotiated during discussions of the TPP, Malaysian public and private sector stakeholders expressed a clear sense of the trade and investment expansion opportunities the TPP could provide to Malaysian companies both large and small,” said Marc Mealy. “We believe the TPP will bring substantial benefits to Malaysia and stand ready to strongly support Prime Minister Najib in his efforts to implement Malaysia’s participation.”
In addition to promoting awareness of the TPP, the key topics for the 2014 Business Mission to Malaysia included:

    Encouraging Malaysia to pave the way for other ASEAN states by adopting policies that encourage further investment and trade, especially as it pertains to promoting the free flow of data and ecommerce.
    Promoting human capital development in high-skill areas such as information, communication and technology as well as in the energy sector.
    Expressing the importance of maintaining the current pillars of the MSC Bill of Guarantees, which attracts investment from global technology companies and helps the local ICT industry to flourish.

“The US business community sees Malaysia’s ongoing strategic investments in human capital development, coupled with the domestic economic reform and trade policy agendas, as enhancing Malaysia’s global competitive positioning as a preferred FDI destination,” added Mealy. “The goals laid out in the Economic Transformation Program will go a long way towards achieving Malaysia’s goal of reaching develop nation status by 2020.”
The Council delegation had the opportunity to engage several key officials, including:

    Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib tun Abdul Razak
    Tan Sri Datuk Seri Utama Pandikar Amin bin Haji Mulia, Speaker of the House – Parliament
    YB Senator Dato' Sri Abdul Wahid B. Omar, Minister – Economic Planning Unit
    Dato' Sri Dr. Ir. Jamaluddin bin Mohd. Jarjis, Special Envoy to the U.S. and an advisor to Prime Minister Najib.
    As well as officials from the Ministries of Communications, Health, and Energy, and the Malaysia Investment and Development Authority.

The Council received briefings from the Hon. Joseph Yun, U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia as well as the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (Malaysia), a local think-tank tasked with conducting a cost-benefit analysis on the TPP.
Companies participating on the delegation included Ford, Baxter International, UPS, ACE, Microsoft, PayPal (eBay), MasterCard Worldwide, Visa, Oracle, Cisco, General Electric, General Atlantic, Motorola Solutions, IBM, the Coca-Cola Company, ConocoPhillips, and Guardian Industries.

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It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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