Malaysia remains committed to a more equitable, sustainable global trade network — MITI - MIDA | Malaysian Investment Development Authority
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Malaysia remains committed to a more equitable, sustainable global trade network — MITI

Malaysia remains committed to a more equitable, sustainable global trade network — MITI

03 Mar 2024

Malaysia remains committed to a more equitable and sustainable global trade network, despite the missed opportunity for all members to achieve consensus on a few major issues during the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) from Feb 26-29 this year.

Investment, Trade, and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz, who led the Malaysian delegation, submitted Malaysia’s instrument of acceptance (IOA) for the agreement on fisheries subsidies (FSA), underscoring the country’s commitment to sustainable fishing practices on a global scale. 

“To date, 71 WTO members have already accepted the FSA, which emphasises the preservation of marine biodiversity and was adopted in June 2022 during the MC12 in Geneva, Switzerland,” the Ministry of Investment, Trade, and Industry (Miti) said in a statement on Sunday.

In the realm of dispute settlement reform, a priority issue for Malaysia and most of the members, Miti said the ministers unanimously agreed to continue working together to address the critical issue of the appeal review mechanism by 2024. 

Another noteworthy milestone was when 124 WTO members, including Malaysia, came together to unanimously adopt the investment facilitation for development (IFD) agreement, it said.

Commenting on the decisions, Tengku Zafrul said they demonstrated the unwavering commitment of Malaysia and WTO members to finding a resolution that is workable and acceptable to ensure a fair and effective, rules-based multilateral trading system that promotes transparency, fairness and stability globally. 

“The dispute settlement process, for example, is key to such aspirations within the WTO framework, and we see it as highly important in facilitating Malaysian exporters’ trade transactions globally,” he said.

Tengku Zafrul said Malaysia also recognises the immense value of the IFD agreement, which has the potential to create a stable and favourable investment environment by enhancing transparency in investment policies and streamlining administrative procedures.

“Coupled with Malaysia’s unique value proposition to investors and focused efforts on investment implementation, these will be crucial in not only attracting new investments but also expanding existing ones in Malaysia,” he added.

At the MC13, the ministers also agreed to uphold the existing practice of not imposing customs duties on electronic transmissions and renewed the current moratorium on the application of non-violation and situation complaints (NVSC) to trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS) until MC14, which is scheduled for 2026. 

“Through its involvement in these meetings, Miti has ensured that these agreements will help foster a conducive environment for the growth of digital trade in Malaysia, as well as provide a degree of stability and predictability in the international trade system,” it said.

In summary, the MC13 has yielded significant outcomes that resonate with Malaysia’s key priorities, including advancements in promoting inclusive and fair-trade practices, nurturing the growth of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and addressing challenges associated with sustainable and responsible business practices.

“These outcomes will reinforce Malaysia’s unwavering commitment to an open, fair and rules-based trading system, contributing to a more resilient, equitable, and environmentally conscious global trade framework,” said Miti.

Source: Bernama