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Malaysian manufacturers, SMEs must stay competitive: ACCCIM
Published on: Wednesday, November 18, 2020
By: Bernama
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Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian manufacturers and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have been urged to stay competitive in international markets following the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

The RCEP agreement, dubbed as the world’s biggest free trade agreement (FTA), has finally been signed last Sunday after going through 31 rounds of negotiations over the past eight years.

Commenting on the mega trade deal, president of the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) Tan Sri Ter Leong Yap said competition is inevitable in the global trading market place, which is now being revolutionised by digital technology and e-commerce.

“It is therefore important for Malaysian manufacturers and SMEs to focus on maintaining product quality and standards as well as branding development to stay competitive in international markets,” he said in a statement today.

According to Ter, the country’s textiles and wearing apparels sector is expected to be dampened by low-cost competitors such as Vietnam, while the timber and timber products industry too would face competition from the participating countries.

However, he noted that at the same time, Malaysian businesses would be able to enjoy better access to quality raw materials at competitive prices under the RCEP.

“A healthy, competitive business environment could increase innovation, efficiency and championship, and public delivery services need to be competitive in providing efficient, effective and conducive business environment to facilitate businesses,” he said.

As the RCEP underscores the grouping’s commitment towards the adoption of a free and fair trade to fight the rising wave of protectionism, Ter believes it will strengthen Malaysia’s position, moving forward.

He said the lowering of barriers and further streamlining of rules and regulations for trade facilitation will boost Malaysia’s trade with these countries, improve market access for goods and services, while attracting foreign companies keen on entering into a more integrated Asean.

Ter also believed the RCEP would enhance transparency in trade and investment, as well as facilitate the greater inclusion of Asean’s SMEs to global and regional supply chains.  – Bernama

He said the increased connectivity would bode well for the domestic travel, tourism, hospitality and aviation industries, while companies specialising in industries like telecommunications, banking and finance, and consultancy would benefit from enhanced cooperation under the RCEP.



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