KUALA LUMPUR: The findings of a two-stage cost-benefit analysis for Malaysia's participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will be made public, said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed yesterday.
Stating that the ministry is mindful of the resistance to Malaysia's participation in the TPP agreement talks by certain quarters, he said more rounds of engagement would be carried out with stakeholders.
"We are adopting an open-minded attitude to the TPP agreement. While the government knows it is good for us, we will first need to convince the people," he said during a breakfast talk under the Business Times Insight series, here, yesterday.
The "Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement - Opportunities and Challenges for Malaysia" was moderated by New Straits Times managing editor (business/lifestyle) Mustapha Kamil Mohd Janor.
The three panellists were Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers president Tan Sri Yong Poh Kon, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia senior fellow and associate professor of law Dr Sufian Jusoh and co-chairman of Bantah TPPA, Azlan Awang.
The cost-benefit analysis is expected to be completed by the end of next month, after which it will be presented to the cabinet.
Mustapa said Malaysia will enter the 20th round of talks in December, when it is expected to take stock of outstanding issues on government procurement, intellectual property rights, the environment, state-owned enterprises and labour.
"We will not sign the agreement by the end of the year, and will allow the public to use the cost-benefit analysis as a basis for discussion. The Parliament will have a chance to debate on it."
Mustapa called on detractors of the TPP not to underestimate or belittle the government, which is placing national interests above other considerations in the talks.
"The government is on the same page as those who are against the TPP. We need to step up engagement with stakeholders. I will also visit opposition-held states to explain the benefits of Malaysia's participation in the TPP."
The Business Times Insight series, held on a quarterly basis, are aimed at providing a platform for intellectual discourse within a particular industry.
The TPP agreement topic was chosen as it is seen as an important government initiative for Malaysia to expand market access opportunities, enhance the country's competitive advantage and build investor confidence.
Also present were New Straits Times Press Malaysia Bhd chief executive officer Mohammad Azlan Abdullah and NST group managing editor Datuk Abdul Jalil Hamid.