KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is ready to resume negotiations on a free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union (EU) following the withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact, says International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.
He said the Government was aiming for a high quality FTA with Europe and hoped to conclude the negotiations in the near future.
“Malaysia has received investments from almost every EU economy and European countries continue to have a strong interest in Malaysia.
“We want to continue promoting Malaysia as a destination for investors,” he said in his speech at a public forum to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the EU here yesterday.
Mustapa said Malaysia enjoyed close ties with the EU and shared a relationship of equal respect for one another.
Last year, the EU was Malaysia’s third largest trading partner behind China and Singapore with total trade worth over €$34bil (RM163.1bil).
The EU mainly imported machinery and appliances from Malaysia and exported mostly electrical equipment and machinery.
The EU, a political and economic union of 28 member states, marked the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty Of Rome.
The treaty, which was signed on March 25, 1957, led to the establishment of the European Economic Community.