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Talk: UK statement on Entire world Trade Organization’s review of Malaysia’s Trade Policy, February 2023

Therefore returning to the business of this evaluation let me start by commending Malaysia’s strong and resilient financial growth, which the Secretary Common set out this morning. And of course that growth has been enabled simply by its openness. I was happy to read in that the World Bank report rates Malaysia as one of the most open economies on the planet – a secret from the success in many ways. Malaysia’s hope to become a high-income country, when of their next TPR in 2028, is already producing good success under that ambitious Twelfth Malaysia Plan, based on those themes of resetting the economy, strengthening security, wellbeing and advancing sustainability. Chair, let me warmly welcome the abordnung of Malaysia to Geneva here today, led by our friend, Datuk ISHAM ISHAK, Secretary General of the Ministry of International Business and Industry. It’s great to have you all around today! Chair, might I echo your remarks to our distinguished Discussant, and incredibly good friend, Ambassador Acarsoy, and provide our condolences to him, and indeed to all our buddies at the Turkish Mission, for this appalling humanitarian tragedy that is unrolling before our eyes in both Turkiye and Syria. We have been also delighted that Malaysia has invested so significantly into the UK, with inward investments in 2020 highly valued at £780 million, symbolizing an increase of almost 230% from the year before. We particularly encourage Malaysia to continue opening its legal services sector, including business services, to competition and to investment and to view this, as we do, as a realisable economic benefit. The starting of legal services will, in our view, support Malaysian corporations that are seeking to globalise and require specialist legal advice in Malaysia, and should promote the development of Malaysia into a legal hub within ASEAN. We are also pleased to stand since Malaysia’s ninth largest foreign investor, with a strong business footprint in Malaysia with over 200 British companies investing in a wide variety of sectors over the economy. Education is at the heart of our relationship. There are 5 UK university branch campuses in Malaysia, as well as hundreds and hundreds of young Malaysians attending institutions and university in the UK, and we stand ready to support Malaysia’s ambition to become a regional education and learning hub. And let me just mention in that respect, the right now very famous Syabira Yusoff, a young Malaysian who reached study in the UK for a PhD and who las calendar year achieved great fame in our country for winning the particular ‘Great British Bake-Off’. But , of course , there is always more we can do to strengthen our zwei staaten betreffend relationship. Let me also say thanks to the government of Malaysia and indeed the WTO Secretariat for Reports. And the Secretary Common for his very thorough presentation of Malaysia’s macro-economic policy this morning. That initiative was upgraded to some Ministerial-led Joint Economic Business Committee just last Nov. We look forward to continuing to build economic cooperation between the countries under this Committee, as well as more broadly by means of our new dialogue companion status in ASEAN. And, of course , our flourishing zwei staaten betreffend ties also extend here to Geneva. We are thankful for Malaysia’s active involvement and engagement in the Expenditure Facilitation for Development, MSME and E-commerce Joint Initiatives. Through these initiatives, all of us share a common commitment to delivering for global companies and global consumers. Within this context, let me join others in encouraging Malaysia to think about joining the initiative on Services Domestic Regulation, where businesses, particularly in the developing world, are set to advantage by up to 0bn globally per year. Since the Secretary General knows, Malaysia is the UK’s second biggest trading partner in Southeast Asia – with total trade reaching almost £6bn in the first four quarters to Q3 of 2022 and British exports escalating by just under 18% in the last year. We are also really pleased to have established a UK-Malaysia Joint Committee on Zwei staaten betreffend Trade and Investment Cooperation back in 2020, to promote business and investment between our own two great nations, and also to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to the Indo-Pacific region. On forced labour, we really delightful Malaysia’s ratification of the ILO’s Forced Labour Convention this past year and remain committed to coming together to deliver our shared objective of ending modern slavery and coercive labour procedures. We continue to support Malaysia’s work to deliver its Nationwide Action Plan through exchange associated with expertise and engagement throughout government, civil society plus business. As he knows, British lookup and rescue experts arrived last night in southeast Turkiye and indeed the Union flag flew at half-mast with our Embassy and Consulates across Turkiye yesterday. As being a multilateral community, of which we have been a part, these tragedies do remind us of the need for us to come together. As the Malaysian national motto states, ‘unity is strength’. Seat, we are grateful to Malaysia for their written responses and appear forward to continuing to work together to address these important issues. And we are thankful to the whole team from Kuala Lumpur for being here with us today, and we desire Malaysia a successful Trade Policy Review and continuing achievement in progressing their 12th Malaysia Plan, with the UK, I hope, as a close partner too. Also commendable is certainly Malaysia’s engagement in Trade & Gender, an issue really dear to the heart of my Minister, as Minister for both Business and Trade and Equalities, with clear efforts being produced in Malaysia’s 2022 budget for women-led MSMEs and a specific dedication in the Twelfth Malaysia Intend to ensure further opportunities meant for female entrepreneurs and access to decision-making roles. More broadly, our governments are working together on critical modern issues like climate and forced labour. Indeed, my UN Deputy Permanent Representative is in Kuala Lumpur this week discussing individual rights issues, among others, with the Malaysian partners. Net-zero planning and green energy are shared priority issues for that UK and Malaysia upon green trade, as highlighted by the Secretary General’s feedback this morning. Indeed we in the united kingdom established our own net-zero and energy department just yesterday. We signed the UK-Malaysia Climate Partnership MoU in July 2022, supporting higher technical assistance and knowledge sharing, and we will continue to use government departments and agencies at all levels in support of those people shared climate goals. In our Advance Created Questions, the UK sought to comprehend more about Malaysia’s trade policies and practices regarding govt procurement, government-linked companies plus tendering provisions, sustainable manufacturing practices, and excise duties.


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