Free Malaysia Today 31 October 2015

KUALA LUMPUR: Some industries will fail when the Trans Pacific free trade area comes about – but that will not be a problem, according to Wan Saiful Wan Jan, head of the think tank IDEAS.
He said industries that could not compete in the global market through free trade agreements were industries that the country did not need, he said after a forum entitled TPPA: Will the US bully Us?
“We should pass the low-paying, manual-labour-based industries to other countries who are behind us. Some industries and people will lose out, but failure is not a problem,” he said, paraphrasing forum speaker Dr Le Dang Doanh, a senior economist from the Association of Vietnam Economists.
“If one industry is shut down, that’s not a problem. That’s normal. I am impressed by Vietnam’s (Le Dang Doanh) perspective on this, that even they can say that it’s okay to lose. What is important is what we do after, and whether we rise again.”
Present at the forum were Mexican ambassador to Malaysia, Carlos Isauro Felix Corona, Dr Le Dang Doanh, and Indonesian researcher Poppy S Winanti, director of the Centre for World Trade Studies.
Wan Saiful said that the Mexican ambassador’s speech had shown that free trade agreements had a positive impact on countries.
“Mexico is no longer talking about NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) after 20 years of it, or about agriculture and domestic industries. It is now talking about competing with America. Not American domination. This level of confidence is really good. We also have to have that same level of confidence,” he said.
“There will be challenges at the early stages, but that’s where leadership and confidence comes in. We need to focus on knowledge and service-sector economies. These are economies that are carried out by more advanced countries, and we have to place our confidence in becoming one of them.”

Leave a comment