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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        27  April 2011

FTAs boost Malaysia exporters

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The number of country of origins (COOs) certificates issued to companies in Malaysia exporting to Europe and Asia-Pacific has increased by 22.8 percent in the first quarter compared with the same period last year.

Such preferential certificate of origins is a document which enables products to enjoy tariff reduction or zero duty when the products are exported to other countries that participate in trade arrangement with Malaysia.

International Trade and Industry Ministry director (Penang) Ahmad Rizal said the value of trade using COOs within that period had also increased by 4.8% to RM28.3bil from RM26.9bil previously. “This year, the number of COOs and the value of exports is expected to rise by 5% to 10%, ” he added.

The number of COOs issued for Penang and the northern region of the peninsula increased by about 10 percent to 25,640 in the first quarter compared with the same period in 2010. “The value of goods exported from Penang and the northern region during this period also inc rea sed to RM4bil.

“Goods exported to Europe include gloves, mixed alcohol products and jet fuel while to Asian countries, the goods include palm oil products, polyethylene and chemical products as wel l as LCD televisions,” he said.

The number of COOs issued for companies in Malaysia exporting to Europe and Asia-Pacific has risen to 509,897 in 2 010 from 346, 223 in 2007.

The value of exports has also increased to RM102bil from RM64bil during that period. “The increase shows that more Malaysian -based exporters are becoming aware of the benefits of the free trade agreements (FTA) that Malaysia has w ith other Asian countries.

“It also reflects the rising number of FTAs signed between 2007 and 2010,” Rizal added. Currently, Malaysia has implemented six multilateral FTAs for the Asia-Pacific region, and three bilateral economic partnership agreements with Japan, Pakistan and New Zealand.

Rizal said to facilitate the COOs, the ministry had introduced electronic prefere ntial certifica te of origins (EPCO) last October to allow online application for COOs by Malaysia-based exporters.

“The EPCO shortens the processing period for COO applications to less th a n five working days from nine,” he said.

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