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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  24 April 2014  

Malaysia not under pressure to quickly conclude TPPA following Obama visit

Malaysia will not be under pressure to quickly conclude the discussions on Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) following US President Barack Obama's visit on April 26-28, said Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI), Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.
Mustapa said the visit would not just discuss about trade and investment but also other fields -- education, diplomacy, regional collaboration, defence and security.
"I know several analysts have been speculating that some momentum in Japan will create more excitement on TPPA and probably put pressure to Malaysia to compromise some issues," he told media briefing here today.
However, Mustapa said, there were many things within TPPA that were not resolved yet.
"We have more issues compared to other countries," he said.
The US president's Asia tour also includes Japan, South Korea and the Philippines.
Mustapa said there would be a TPPA meeting at official level this mid-May and a proposal to have another round during Apec trade ministers' meeting, also in May.
In addition, Mustapa said, there were domestic process such as cost-benefit analysis of the TPPA that was still in progress.
The analysis was done in stages by the Institute of Strategic & International Studies, Bumiputera Agenda Steering Unit in the Prime Minister's Department and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The analysis studied the impact on Bumiputras, small and medium enterprises and national interest including geopolitics, diplomacy and sociopolicy.
"The analysis is very important in setting the tone for domestic and parliament debate," he said.
To date, MITI has conducted over 50 engagements on TPPA with various stakeholders from non-govermental organisations, members of Parliament, media, university students, business association, industry groups, civil society, academia and individuals.
MITI will meet the state governments on April 24. (BERNAMA)

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

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.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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