ASEAN-BAC Malaysia Virtual Dialogues
with Trade Associations, Chambers of Commerce,
Foreign Business Associations and Business
Councils in Malaysia, and Professional Bodies
ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) Malaysia hosted three annual virtual consultation dialogue sessions that saw over 100 senior representatives from Malaysia’s private sector attend to exchange views about the outlook, opportunities, and challenges of operating in the current business climate.
The strong private sector representation provided and the collective concerns and recommendations raised during the dialogues will form the basis of ASEAN-BAC Malaysia’s consultation and advocacy efforts with the government of Malaysia and other ASEAN countries and at ASEAN-level ministerial meetings in 2022.
The three dialogues were moderated by ASEAN-BAC Malaysia Chairman Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Munir Majid, Council Members Tan Sri Yong Poh Kon and Mr Raja Singham, and included special remarks from Puan Jamilah Haji Hassan, Senior Director of ASEAN Economic Integration Division at MITI.
In her special remarks, Puan Jamilah Haji Hassan addressed the ratifications of free trade agreements (FTAs) and reassured participants that the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) remains a top priority for the ministry. Tan Sri Munir credited MITI for ratifying the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and pushing ahead with the process to ratify the CPTPP despite political resistance.
While there has been progress in opening up the economy, several issues from 2021 remain to be addressed, particularly greater and regular consultation with the private sector.
Tan Sri Yong Poh Kon echoed the Chairman’s sentiments on MITI’s progress with the FTAs and emphasised that it will provide a strong foundation for economic recovery. He also stressed that the challenges raised during the dialogue must be addressed for Malaysia to penetrate regionally or globally.
Mr. Raja Singham remarked that the virtual dialogue was organised at the right time with Malaysia’s transition to the endemic phase beginning 1st April 2022. With the borders reopening, business sectors that took massive economic hits will now have the opportunity to bounce back and even leverage lessons learnt during the pandemic.