Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak said Malaysia was a strong proponent of free trade. "Malaysia is actively pursuing FTAs with a number countries, including European Free Trade Association countries. "And negotiations on FTA between Malaysia and EU should proceed," he said.
Najib said this when addressing the 14th Asia-Europe Business Forum, which groups over 300 captains of industry and corporate leaders as well as leaders from Asia and Europe, here today. Najib said Malaysia was also actively pursuing the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. "We believe (it) can boost trade and create new jobs and wealth," he said.
Both regions required sustainable economic growth and development and financial stability, and the economic partnerships that expanded trade and investment were crucial to achieve it, he said.
"We must continue to find new ways to encourage our businesses to tap into the opportunities of our respective regions, thereby deepening economic integration and fostering mutually beneficial growth," he said.
Najib said European firms remained vital to Asian growth and development.
He said EU companies had invested over US$17 billion (RM55.81 billion) in Malaysia.
Najib said Malaysia would continue to champion the principles of good governance, transparency and regulatory reforms at home and within Asean.
"Foreign investors can rest assured that more liberalisation and facilitation measures will be implemented to transform Asean into a more attractive place to do business," he said.
Najib said more liberalisation would require capacity building and socio-economic development.
With Malaysia assuming the chairmanship of Asean in 2015, Najib said he was hopeful Asean would realise the Asean Economic Community, which would transform the region by creating a single market and production base.
Najib said Asean was also leading the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, which included the members of Asean plus Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.
The initiative involved a combined population of 3.3 billion, with the total gross development product of US$21.4 trillion, he said. – Bernama