Malaysia to revisit, explore TIFA

By SHAHEERAAZNAM SHAH

The government is considering the possibility of revitalising the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) that was established with the US in 2004.

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed (picture) said the possible trade facilitation agreement offers a similar structure to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).

“Had we continued the engagement with the US through TIFA, it would be a similar interaction to the TPPA.

“TIFA is already established, it is just the matter of how to utilise the TIFA umbrella as a platform to discuss trade issues and promote closer economic collaboration with the US,” he told reporters at the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM)-SME Corp Malaysia Conference 2017 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Signed in 2004, TIFA was established as a platform for regular bilateral dialogues and consultations to address trade issues while spurring opportunities to further enhance economic cooperation between the two countries.

Mustapa also emphasised on the importance of having regular engagements on various essential matters with the economic giant.

“As the US is the world’s largest economy and our third-largest trading partner, it is important for us to have a formal arrangement of bilateral trade such as TIFA.

“We’ve always seen TIFA as the way forward in terms of economic engagement with the US. Thus, good ties and regular engagement will continuously be promoted, especially in economic and other matters as well,” he said.

As for the FMM-SME Conference 2017, Mustapa said small and medium enterprises have to continuously explore opportunities on the international scene via various initiatives that are offered by the government and private sector.