Kuala Lumpur, January 26, 2016: The Malaysian American Electronics Industry (MAEI), an industry sub-committee of the American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) strongly encourages the Malaysian Government to sign the Trans Pacific-Partnership Agreement (TPPA). MAEI members view Malaysia’s participation in the TPPA is essential for the Malaysia’s electrical and electronics (E&E) industry to elevate its competitiveness, increase in export market share and creating a more vibrant industry ecosystem.
Malaysia’s participation in TPPA are expected to increase E&E exports from U.S. government procurement market and reduction or removal of tariff lines in seven TPPA member countries, namely Australia, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, the U.S. and Vietnam. Malaysia’s E&E exports to the U.S. is expected to be the largest beneficiary of lower tariff lines given that the U.S. is Malaysia’s third largest E&E export destination. According to the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) analysis, this would have resulted in tariff savings of RM158.2 million in 2014.
MAEI member companies strongly believe that adoption of the International Labour Organization (ILO) rights following Malaysia’s participation in the TPPA would improve the public perception of labour rights in Malaysia’s E&E industry. Other provisions in TPPA which provide stronger trade secret protection and liberalized cross-border data flows would positively boost investor confidence to expand high-technology manufacturing operations and research and development (R&D) investment in Malaysia. This, in turn, will translate into higher paying jobs and increase demand for knowledge-driven workforce.
“TPPA will allow Malaysian E&E and other companies in the supply chain in Malaysia to enjoy lower tariffs and have better access to US Government procurement. With TPPA, stronger trade secret protection will be strengthened and higher standards of labour practices will be implemented by companies in Malaysia, it will enhance Malaysia as a choice location for investment. Thus, it will attract high value high technology manufacturing and Design and Development investments and expansion. If Malaysia does not participate in the TPPA, then there is a high risk that investments in Malaysia will reduce and will move to Vietnam”, commented Dato’ Wong Siew Hai, Chairman of MAEI.
Malaysia E&E industry has been competitive than other lower cost regional peers in higher value-added E&E manufacturing due to our higher skilled labour force, more developed infrastructures and stronger intellectual property rights. It is important for Malaysia to maintain its competitiveness in the region, particularly against Vietnam by reaffirming its commitment to sign on the TPPA.