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Malaysia-Turkey sign FTA; to benefit textiles
Apr '14
Malaysia and Turkey have signed a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) that will reduce duties to zero on 70 percent of tariff lines upon entry into force of the agreement.
The agreement was signed by Malaysia’s Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed and Turkish Minister of Economy Nihat Zeybekci in Ankara, in the presence of Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Addressing a press conference in Kuala Lumpur, Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria, Secretary-General, Malaysia’s Ministry of International Trade and Industry, said the FTA is significant as both the countries are members of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the Group of Developing Eight (D8).
As per the FTA, both countries would eliminate and bind duties at zero percent for close to 70 percent of tariff lines.
The textiles and apparel sector, which makes up Malaysia’s largest export item to Turkey, would also gain, as Turkey will eliminate duties on all textiles and apparel products, with the elimination on most of the items becoming effective immediately upon entry into force of the FTA, Ms. Rebecca said.
In addition, Turkey would also remove all existing additional duties on textiles and apparel. The additional duties range between 20 and 30 percent and affect more than 1,000 lines, she added.
She further informed that Turkey has also agreed not to reimpose or introduce new additional duties once the FTA is implemented.
Malaysia and Turkey started negotiations for the FTA in May 2010 focusing on goods. Negotiations on services are yet to start.
The FTA now has to be ratified as per the procedures of both countries, before it can be enforced.
Over the last five years, trade between Malaysia and Turkey increased by 86 percent, and it reached US$ 1.1 billion in 2013. The FTA is expected to boost the bilateral trade to $5 billion by 2018.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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