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Improve business operations - Rafidah

Jul '07
At the annual Ministry dialogue session on July 9, Monday, International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz said that all industries need to start with hands-on experience, in order to improve business operations for bigger competitions in future.

Further Aziz said, “Prepare for a more liberal market as the government is mindful of the effect of an open market. Hence, the ministry welcomed feedback from industries, particularly on trade practices that may pose unfair competition to Malaysian industries”.

With effect from Jan 1, 2007, Malaysia has eliminated the Common Effective Preferential Tariff (CEPT) on 3,368 tariff lines, on products in nine goods sectors of Asean Priority Integration as well as met the commitment of eliminating duties on 80 percent of products in the CEPT scheme.

In an attempt to balance the removal of duties, the focus now is on eliminating non tariff barriers (NTBs), which would be a support for foreign direct investment along with the building up of economic flexibility of the country.

Malaysia's increased share of regional trade proves that industries' are benefited from Asean integration, while tariff liberalization within Asean has also been beneficial in terms of reducing the cost of doing business.

In 2006, the country's trade with Asean accounted for 25.3 percent of total trade amounting to RM271 billion, while exports to Asean accounted for 26.1 percent of Malaysia's total exports, amounting to RM153.6 billion.

Malaysia's imports from Asean grew by 9.7 percent to RM117.4 billion while in the first five months of 2007, total exports to Asean amounted to RM59.6 billion while imports totaled RM47.3 billion.

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