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Malaysia | Brussels, 05 October 2010

EU and Malaysia launch negotiations for Free Trade Agreement

Negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement with Malaysia were launched today by European Commission President Jose Manual Barroso and Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak. The EU will negotiate a comprehensive agreement covering tariffs, non-tariff barriers as well as commitments on other trade related issues, notably procurement, competition and sustainable development.

It would be the first time that Malaysia would include sustainable development and government procurement commitments in a free trade agreement. Also, this will give a significant window of opportunity for translating the ongoing services liberalization process in Malaysia into economically meaningful new market access opportunities for EU businesses.

Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht welcomed the launch of the FTA negotiations as he expects an agreement to: "provide Malaysia with quality investment from Europe and open up new market opportunities for Malaysian and European businesses."

These negotiations mark a next step in strengthening trade links with Southeast Asia, a region that is becoming one of the most dynamic parts of the world. In December 2009, EU Member States gave the green light for the Commission to pursue negotiations towards free trade agreements with individual ASEAN countries, beginning with Singapore in March 2010. At the same time, the EU is not loosing sight of the ultimate goal of achieving an agreement within the whole region. Malaysia is the EU's second trading partner inside ASEAN, behind Singapore.

For more details on EU-Malaysia trade, click here.

Pictures of the opening of negotiations