Effective Jan 1, 2023, about 99% of Turkish exports to Malaysia will enjoy duty-free treatment, while almost 86% 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 International Trade and Industry Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali and his counterpart, Turkiye’s Minister of Trade, Mehmet Mus.
The JETC was held in conjunction with the signing of the protocol to amend the free trade agreement (FTA) between the Malaysian government and Turkiye to broaden the existing MTFTA, which came into force on Aug 1, 2015.
The protocol, which was completed within a 15-month period, has been expanded in scope to include trade in services, investment and e-commerce.
In a statement issued by the international trade and industry ministry on the JETC meeting, Azmin said the expansion of the MFTA’s scope would enhance cross-flows of investments and improve mobility for professionals between Malaysia and Turkiye, 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 will also benefit from it as it will boost their participation in international trade.
During the meeting, both nations discussed various issues regarding bilateral trade and economic cooperation, including the possibility of further strengthening collaboration in industrial sectors such as the halal industry as well as anti-dumping measures to prevent unfair competition.
Azmin also proposed the formal establishment of a bilateral task force for semiconductor supply chain resilience, which was well received by Turkiye.
The task force 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.
Azmin and his Turkish counterpart also noted that Malaysia and Turkiye 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 strategic locations as a springboard into the larger regional market.
Malaysia will host the next senior officials level joint committee meeting next year.