KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 30 — Effective Jan 1, 2023, about 99 per cent of Turkish exports to Malaysia will enjoy duty-free treatment, while almost 86 per cent of Malaysia’s exports to Turkiye will enjoy a similar advantage under the Malaysia-Turkey Free Trade Agreement (MTFTA).
The decision was made during the inaugural Joint Economic and Trade Council (JETC) meeting in Ankara on Thursday, which was co-chaired by Senior Minister and International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali and his counterpart, Türkiye’s Minister of Trade, Dr Mehmet Muş.
The JETC was held in conjunction with the signing of the Protocol to Amend the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the Malaysian government and Türkiye’s government to broaden the existing MTFTA, which came into force on Aug 1, 2015.
The protocol, which was expeditiously completed within a 15-month period, has now been expanded in scope to include trade in services, investment and e-commerce.
In a statement issued by the International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) on the JETC meeting, Mohamed Azmin said the expansion of the MFTA’s scope would enhance cross-flows of investments and improve mobility for professionals between Malaysia and Türkiye, among others.
The move will also foster greater consumer confidence in online transactions through the harmonisation of rules and adoption of facilitation mechanisms, and micro, small and medium enterprises would also benefit from it as it will boost their participation in international trade.
During the meeting, both nations also discussed various issues regarding bilateral trade and economic cooperation, including the possibility of further strengthening collaborations in industrial sectors such as the halal industry as well as anti-dumping measures to prevent unfair competition.
Mohamed Azmin had also proposed to formally establish a bilateral Taskforce for Semiconductor Supply Chain Resilience, which was well received by Turkiye.
The taskforce will formalise a cooperation framework towards ensuring the resilience of the semiconductor supply chain through research and development, design capabilities, production sharing capacity, talent development and market access.
The MITI minister and his Turkish counterpart also noted that Malaysia and Türkiye are strategically positioned to become the preferred manufacturing hub for ASEAN and the European Union, respectively.
In this vein, exporters from both countries are encouraged to leverage their respective strategic locations as a springboard into the larger regional market.
Malaysia will host the next senior officials level Joint Committee Meeting next year.