ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) Malaysia Chairman Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Munir Majid participated in the roundtable discussion between Industry Leaders and The Right Honourable Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Prime Minister of Malaysia on 15 April 2021, which he highlighted on the recently completed Pathway for Malaysia 2021 (Pathway 2021) report.
The Pathway 2021 report is a collaboration between ASEAN-BAC Malaysia and CARI ASEAN Research and Advocacy containing 137 proposals that emerged from engagements held with 46 Trade Associations, Chambers of Commerce, Professional Bodies, and Foreign Business Associations and Business Councils in Malaysia on 22 February 2021.
Among these proposals was a resounding call for the early ratification of regional trade agreements which are the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
The Right Honourable Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin noted the private sector’s proposals and said that he was keen to take a closer look at the report. He added that while Malaysia was likely to ratify the RCEP in the first quarter of 2022, the CPTPP—being “a high quality agreement”—required further deliberation as to its implications.
Speaking during an interview following the roundtable, Tan Sri Munir stressed the need for Malaysians to take full advantage of COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine passports as they become available, despite concerns surrounding vaccine efficacy and risks.
Tan Sri Munir also pointed out that the country’s 6-7% growth forecast for 2021 should be held against 2020’s -5.6%, and stressed that the country should prepare itself for growth in 2022 by positioning itself to take advantage of opportunities presented by the RCEP, CPTPP, as well as the U.S. President Biden’s stimulus package and infrastructure plan.
Supporting Organiser: ASEAN-BAC Malaysia
Moderator: Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Munir Majid, Chairman of CARI and
Chairman of ASEAN-BAC Malaysia
Topic: Pathway 225: COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout and the Recovery of
the ASEAN Economy
The ASEAN Healthcare Webinar was jointly hosted by CARI ASEAN Research and Advocacy and ASEAN-BAC Malaysia on 7 April 2021, moderated by Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Munir Majid, who chairs both entities.
Malaysian Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation The Hon. Khairy Jamaluddin presented the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme in his keynote speech during the webinar. According to the minister, some eight million people have registered for the programme so far — a number that he expects will continue to grow over time. The success of the programme, he says, will also play a key role in the country’s economic recovery.
Guest speaker and Independent Health Policy Specialist Dr Khor Swee Kheng, for his part, said that we may not be able to fully rely on the vaccines and that we may have to consider the possibility of COVID-19 being with us indefinitely. He also explained the difference between the vaccine passports and antibody passports, saying that he was partial to the latter.
In concluding the session, Tan Sri Munir said that “We have been talking about regulatory harmonisation in ASEAN for the longest time. Now, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, harmonisation in respect of accepted vaccine passports and virus test results is critical for the opening up of economies and movement of people. As never before, ASEAN must act together.”