MILAN (Italy): Malaysia is actively pursuing free trade agreements (FTA) with several countries and negotiating the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) to boost trade and create new jobs and wealth, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (pic).
The Prime Minister said Malaysia was a strong proponent of free trade and was pushing for related agreements with European Free Trade Association nations among others.
"Negotiations on an FTA between Malaysia and the EU (European Union) should proceed," he said when closing the Asia-Europe Business Forum during the 10th Asia-Europe Meeting Thursday.
Najib said Malaysia, which would chair Asean next year, would push for the Asean Economic Community to transform the region by creating a single market and production base.
Malaysia, he said, would work to transform Asean into an even more attractive place to do business; assuring foreign investors that more liberalisation and facilitation measures would be implemented towards this.
"Malaysia will continue to champion the principles of good governance, transparency and regulatory reforms at home and within Asean," said Najib.
He noted that the 21st century would be Asia's, adding that China was on the verge of overtaking the United States as the world's biggest economy, based on purchasing power parity.
"Asia's share of global output has grown exponentially," he said, adding that with more than 600 million people, which is more than the EU and a combined GDP set to hit trillions in 2020, Asean would play an increasingly significant role in the global economy.
Strengthening economic cooperation between the business sectors of Asia and Europe was important, Najib said, pointing out that while economic connectivity between Asia and Europe was strong, more could be done to enhance links.
He said sustained economic growth and job creation, both regionally and globally, required that Asia and Europe work closer together.
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