Leiking says will speak to PM on reviving Malaysia-GCC free trade deal

Jamny Rosli
Minister of International Trade and Industry Darell Leiking speaks during the business symposium of Arab Malaysian Chamber of Commerce at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Kuala Lumpur August 27, 2018. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, August 27 — International Trade and Industry Minister Darrell Leiking said today he will discuss with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on bringing back the Free-Trade Agreement (FTA) between Malaysia and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states.

Darrell said that the contents of the terms that was proposed before was done by the previous administration, so time is needed for discussion now.

“I will talk with the prime minister and see whether or not the revival of this proposal will be done.

“Prime minister always said we are open to any FTA, but it must be a fair trade as well,” he said at the press conference after officiating the business symposium of Arab Malaysian Chamber of Commerce.

The GCC nations are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

Previously, the former minister, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, had put on hold the trade deal between Malaysia and GCC states as there were challenges to revive the framework agreement.

The framework agreement, signed six years ago, was aim at enhancing economic, commercial, investment and technical cooperation as well as initiating the FTA negotiations.

It is understood that the FTA was placed on hold since the region was impacted by events like the Arab Spring, followed by the global financial crisis and the plunge in crude oil prices.

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