Each TPP member state has own objectives - Mustapa

Each TPP member state has own objectives - Mustapa
MUSTAPA: With the TPP, China does not set the rules in that region, we do. We want to show our strength in this new century. - Astro AWANI/SHAHIR OMAR
KUALA LUMPUR: Each member state of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has its own objectives in terms of its development.

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said the goal of each member state may vary based on its economic situation.

"For Malaysia, the goal is to diversify our trade, establish good relations with all countries and increase trade volume, investment and national income.
"Our goal in joining the TPP is to establish relations with countries that we still do not have a free-trade agreement (FTA)," he told reporters after the launch of Eclimo Co. Ltd's electric scooter for the export market and a website to rent it, here today.

Mustapa was commenting on the 'State of Union' address by US President Barack Obama that the TPP was a measure to overtake China as a trading power in Asia.

"With the TPP, China does not set the rules in that region, we do. We want to show our strength in this new century. Approve this agreement, give us the tools to enforce it," Obama said in his speech.

Mustapa assured that Obama's statement would not affect negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) between 10 ASEAN countries and their six FTA partners, including China.

"I recently chaired a meeting on RCEP last month between ASEAN ministers in Kenya and we all have agreed to continue negotiations and make a decision by year-end," he said.

In November last year, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the RCEP negotiations would be completed in 2016 as more time was needed before the agreement could be finalised.

Najib said when finalised, RCEP would contribute significantly to regional and global economic integration and provide equitable economic development and strengthen economic cooperation.