KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 3 — Malaysian consumers could enjoy cheaper imported goods including luxury items if the country joins the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), according to a cost-benefit analysis released today.
The analysis by local think-tank Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia also said the treaty would result in more competitive prices for locally produced goods by those who import materials in the manufacture of the final product.
“Consumers in Malaysia can enjoy competitive prices for both imported and locally produced goods, on a wide range of products as import duties for almost 85 per cent of them will be eliminated when the agreement comes into force,” stated a report on ISIS’ analysis of national interests of Malaysia’s participation in the TPP.
“Malaysia will also gain access to dairy markets via the US, Japan, New Zealand and Canada, of which Malaysia is currently not self-sufficient. The removal or reduction of duties means that Malaysian consumers can enjoy cheaper and premium products from markets like the US,” it added.
ISIS also noted that Malaysian exporters of electrical and electronic, chemical, palm oil, rubber, wood and textile products as well as automotive parts and components are expected to be more competitive than their counterparts who are not in the TPP.
“There will be a positive impact on the industries highlighted because they are already competitive. They will benefit as they gain access to bigger markets abroad,” said the ISIS analysis.
The TPP would also provide preferential access to goods and services from Malaysia to four new markets, namely the US, Canada, Mexico and Peru.
“There will be a positive impact on exporters and future exporters because exports are likely to increase upon EIF of the TPP as import duties for almost 90 per cent of the products will be eliminated in the US, Canada (95 per cent), Mexico (77 per cent) and Peru (almost 81 per cent),” said the report, using the EIF initials for enter-into-force.
ISIS said the TPP would also benefit Malaysia’s automotive industry, noting that Malaysia is the third largest producer of vehicles in Asean after Thailand and Indonesia, which are not part of the TPP.
“Auto manufacturers currently sourcing parts and components from outside the TPP countries may now choose to source them from Malaysia. There will be a positive impact on our supply and parts producers as they are able to conform to the regional content required in the TPP agreement,” said ISIS.