Kuala Lumpur, 21 September 2021( TDI): Malaysia’s Ministry of Industry and International trade made a statement to Bernama that bilateral talks with China could kick off in 2022. China’s offer has been embraced by Malaysia to be a part of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) free trade agreement, which binds Malaysia with 10 other countries.

According to the Malaysian Ministry of Industry and International Trade, it was Beijing’s interest that encouraged this free trade deal. The inclusion of China in CPTPP would kick off negotiations between China and CPTPP members next year and MITI is hopeful that it would encourage bilateral trade between China and Malaysia and investment ties will grow by leaps and bounds between both countries in the coming years, the ministry said.

The second-largest economy of the world, China, submitted an application to be part of a pact to enhance its clout with the Asia-Pacific region. In 2017 the United States withdrew itself from this initiative. Chinese President, Xi Jinping, made a speech on Friday and said that high obstacles that would hinder the growth of technology, investment, and trade should be eliminated and vowed to take action to increase this free-trade system.

Zhao Lijian, Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said Chinese inclusion in the CPTPP would help promote economic integration and encourage investment and trade growth after this pandemic in the Asia-Pacific region. To join the pact, China has to take the unanimous consent of all eleven Member States. The CPTPP involves Singapore, Mexico, Chile, Peru, Vietnam, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and Brunei besides Malaysia.