The Program Immunisasi Industri COVID-19 Kerjasama Awam-Swasta (PIKAS) programme announced on 12 June 2021 will be launched today in Selangor to be witnessed by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin accompanied by Senior Minister and Minister of International Trade and Industry YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.

Apart from Selangor, vaccination for the manufacturing sector will also be initiated in Penang and Johor simultaneously that will focus on critical manufacturing sub-sectors. These sub-sectors are critical during the lockdown as they are part of the supply chain of essential products and services including to support the smooth functioning of infrastructures such as the public health care system.

The PIKAS programme is implemented in response to calls from industry associations, business chambers of commerce and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to help accelerate vaccination for the Rakyat particularly employees to achieve herd immunity in the community. This is imperative to protect workers against COVID-19 and reduce the number of workplace clusters as well as stop the transmission of infection among workers.

The implementation of PIKAS is crucial to safeguard workers as they constitute a critical component of the economic sector, which is the backbone to ensuring the economy recovers and to remain resilient.

While PIKAS is implemented, the PICK vaccination programme for the most vulnerable groups remains a priority.

The Malaysian Trades Union Congress and other trade unions have expressed their support for the PIKAS programme and welcome its implementation to ensure workers’ safety. Nevertheless, they have also expressed concerns on the implementation of PIKAS by industry players, particularly on costs associated to vaccinate workers.

At a video conference with trade union representatives yesterday, YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin assured that workers who participate in the programme would not be burdened with additional cost. He reiterated that the vaccines are free and that the employers will bear the administrative cost of the vaccination and would not be allowed to deduct from employees’ salaries.

YB Senior Minister also said that the Government will ramp up vaccination in June, July and August with the target of reaching herd immunity according to the exit strategy as outlined in the National Recovery Plan announced yesterday by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. YB Senior Minister also urged employers to encourage their workers to participate in the PIKAS programme.

MINISTRY OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND INDUSTRY
16 JUNE 2021

MEDIA STATEMENT_PIKAS KICKOFF_16 JUNE 2021_FINAL

The Special Committee on COVID-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee (JKJAV) co-chaired by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) and Ministry of Health (MOH) has agreed that the Program Imunisasi Industri COVID-19 Kerjasama Awam-Swasta (PIKAS) will be launched as Phase 4 of the National COVID-19 Immunisation Program (PICK) to accelerate immunisation of the Rakyat. This is to expedite the attainment of herd immunity among the community.

PIKAS is a public-private partnership immunisation program aimed at employees of which MITI has been tasked to coordinate the immunisation for employees in the manufacturing sector. Several other ministries will also be responsible for vaccination of employees in their respective sectors. Participation of companies and employees in PIKAS is voluntary.

PIKAS is initiated in response to calls from industry associations, business chambers of commerce and Small and Medium Enterprises to help the Government accelerate the immunisation for the Rakyat.

Senior Minister and Minister of International Trade and Industry, YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said the Government is committed to ensuring employees have free vaccines under PIKAS, supported by the private sector in administering vaccines utilising private medical practitioners, implemented nationwide including vaccination at factory premises.

Implementation of PIKAS will begin on 16 June 2021 with on-site vaccination at designated factories and industrial locations. Companies in critical manufacturing sub-sectors including electrical and electronics, food processing, iron and steel, medical devices, personal protective equipment (PPE), oil and gas and rubber products including medical glove manufacturing sub-sectors will be prioritised for vaccination. These sectors are critical in supporting the supply chain of essential products and services as well as the construction, maintenance and smooth functioning of critical infrastructures including utilities and public healthcare system.

Further to earlier engagements, MITI will conduct additional sessions with industry associations and business chambers of commerce with regard to coordinating with MITI on the implementation process. MITI has thus far received applications from approximately 500 companies with a total of 106,591 workers to participate in PIKAS. Other companies interested to participate are welcome to submit their applications through their industry associations and business chambers of commerce.

Priority of vaccination of companies will be based on several considerations including company’s location in COVID-19 red zones. Companies are subjected to terms and conditions that include employees having registered with MySejahtera under PICK. Employers shall not deduct administration fees paid to the private medical general practitioners and for usage of private-run vaccine administration centres from employee’s salary including in cases where the employee is no longer employed by the company before full immunisation of the employee.

While the vaccination for the most vulnerable groups remains a priority for the Government under PICK and will not be compromised, the implementation of PIKAS is imperative to protect workers against the risk of infection.

MINISTRY OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND INDUSTRY
12 JUNE 2021

FAQ – https://azminali.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/FAQ-Vaccine-PV-final12.6.2021.pdf

Last Sunday a Muslim family of five in Canada were brutally mowed down while waiting to cross a street, leaving four people dead and a nine-year-old boy seriously injured. My thoughts and prayers go out to the loved ones and relatives of the innocent victims spanning three generations, mercilessly killed simply because of their Islamic faith.

Despicable acts of Islamophobia ranging from hate speech to outright violence are on the rise again and must be condemned by all right thinking persons regardless of race or religion.

While we applaud the swift action of the authorities in apprehending and charging the perpetrator with murder, it remains a matter of grave concern that innocent folk continue to be targeted with acts of extreme violence, including mass murder, just because of their religion or ethnicity.

These acts are also a manifestation of the prevalence of a culture of anti-immigrant hatred, racism, and the mushrooming of far-right groups. We therefore continue to call on the authorities to exercise vigilance and to tackle these problems holistically.

Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali
Senior Minister
Minister of International Trade and Industry
8 June 2021

We, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT), met virtually from 4-5 June 2021. Our meeting was chaired by Hon Damien O’Connor, New Zealand’s Minister for Trade and Export Growth. We welcomed the participation of the Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Chair of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Secretariat.

We, the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade, are united behind the essential role of trade in tackling the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and in enabling a strong economic recovery for all our people. In these times of uncertainty, we are seized of the importance of implementing our Putrajaya Vision 2040, and we agree that bold action is necessary in the following three areas:

1. Trade as a tool to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic

Defeating COVID-19 is the top priority for every economy. Recognising the role of extensive COVID-19 immunisation as a global public good, we urgently need to accelerate the production and distribution of safe, effective, quality-assured, and affordable COVID-19 vaccines. As ministers, we are focused on trade and investment’s role in ensuring widespread and equitable access to such vaccines and related goods. APEC is playing a key role in this effort, consistent with the Putrajaya Vision 2040. In July 2020 we announced a Declaration on Facilitating the Movement of Essential Goods, which was a strong demonstration of our willingness and ability to work together to facilitate trade. However, there is more work to do.

Today, we are pleased to announce a standalone statement on COVID-19 Vaccine Supply Chains (Annex 1), which outlines our approach to ensuring the trading environment supports the safe and efficient distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and related goods. We welcome the Best Practice Guidelines for APEC Customs Administrations as an operational and practical contribution to help facilitate the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and related goods. To continue APEC’s strong work in responding to the challenges of COVID-19, APEC economies will also agree to consider how to facilitate trade in medical supplies such as those included in the World Customs Organization (WCO) COVID-19 list,1 and report to us before our APEC Ministerial Meeting in November.

It is vital that services trade continues to flow during the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, we highlight the integral role freight and logistics suppliers can play in the production, distribution, and sale of vaccines and medical supplies. We are pleased to announce the statement on Services to Support the Movement of Essential Goods (Annex 2). We task officials to update us on the progress of this work annually, as part of the review on the 2020 Declaration on Facilitating the Movement of Essential Goods. We also recognise the importance of providing predictability for service suppliers beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the work underway to review APEC’s role in growing services competitiveness across the region, we agree to prioritise work to identify and subsequently consider removing unnecessary barriers to trade in services, particularly those services that expedite and facilitate the flow of essential goods.

Noting the detrimental impact of border and travel restrictions on our people and our economies, we must pave the way for the safe resumption of cross-border travel, without undermining efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We task officials to share information on cross-border travel measures, including through established APEC digital platforms, and to identify initiatives and protocols related to establishing safe passage within the region, in line with ongoing multilateral discussions. We direct officials to discuss how APEC can better support air crews, facilitate business mobility across the region, and advance discussions on digital solutions to facilitate safe travel in the region, and report on progress before our APEC Ministerial Meeting in November.

We welcome the varied and continuous efforts as well as the contribution of additional resources across APEC to combat the pandemic, and note the newly established relevant ASF sub-fund in this regard.

2. Rules-based multilateral trading system

Recalling the role of the rules-based multilateral trading system in catalysing our region’s extraordinary growth, we are determined to cooperate to ensure the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12) is successful and delivers tangible results for all. We will cooperate to further enhance the role of the WTO in establishing rules that support a free, fair, predictable, non-discriminatory, transparent, and open trade and investment environment.

The WTO must demonstrate that global trade rules can help address the human catastrophe of the COVID-19 pandemic and facilitate the recovery. APEC economies will work proactively and urgently in Geneva to support text-based discussions, including for a temporary waiver of certain intellectual property protections on COVID- 19 vaccines, as soon as possible and no later than MC12. As we seek to facilitate the recovery from the COVID- 19 pandemic, we support efforts to deliver pragmatic and effective solutions on trade and health that reinforce APEC’s work on essential goods, minimise disruption to, and enhance the resilience of supply chains, and demonstrate the positive role that trade can play in responding to global health emergencies. As APEC economies, we will play our part by ensuring that emergency measures designed to tackle COVID-19 are targeted, proportionate, transparent, temporary, and consistent with WTO rules and will support efforts to unwind remaining trade restrictive measures when appropriate.

We continue to support ongoing necessary reform work to improve the WTO’s functioning. To that end, we recognise the importance of making progress on enhancing transparency. We engaged in frank and constructive discussions, and are committed to continuing these discussions regarding improved functioning of the WTO’s negotiating and dispute settlement functions. We urge WTO members to seek a shared understanding of the types of reform needed by MC12.

One of the most important contributions that the WTO will make this year to strengthen its credibility as a forum for negotiating new rules and to safeguard our natural resources, is the successful conclusion of the decades-long fisheries subsidies negotiations. As a group, APEC economies support the WTO Director- General’s calls for the WTO fisheries subsidies negotiations to achieve a comprehensive and meaningful agreement with effective disciplines on harmful fisheries subsidies by 31 July 2021.

We must support the WTO and its membership to modernise trade rules for the twenty-first century. We recognise the positive role that existing plurilateral negotiations and discussions are playing in progressing outcomes. APEC member participants in the Joint Statement Initiatives (JSI) on e-commerce; domestic regulation in services; micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs); and investment facilitation for development call for substantial progress in the relevant initiatives. We take note of the calls by the APEC economies who endorsed the Joint Declaration on Trade and Women’s Economic Empowerment for an ambitious outcome at MC12.

APEC has been at the vanguard of ensuring that trade and environmental policies are mutually supportive, and we are determined this should continue. We agree on the importance of promoting economic policies and growth that contribute to tackling climate change and other serious environmental challenges aligned with global efforts, such as the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the goals of the Paris Agreement. In this context, we recognise member economies’ energy transitions to a low emissions future will reflect the different circumstances in each economy. We are committed to advancing trade and environment issues at the WTO. We reaffirm the importance of trade measures taken to combat climate change being non-discriminatory and consistent with WTO rules.

We recognise that since APEC Economic Leaders endorsed the APEC List of Environmental Goods in 2012, new environmentally friendly goods, technologies and innovations have emerged that are not covered by the original list. We are ready to take concrete steps that build on this legacy, to further APEC’s contribution to addressing the most serious environmental challenges. We instruct officials to review the implementation of the original list in contributing to green growth, addressing climate change and securing sustainable economic development objectives, and to update the list in terms of Harmonised System (HS) tariff classifications for reference purposes by the APEC Ministerial Meeting in November. At that time, we will consider instructing officials on further potential work to update the list. We also support APEC efforts to discuss the impact of non-tariff measures on trade in environmental goods.

We reaffirm APEC Economic Leaders’ commitments to work on environmental services and welcome recent APEC reports on the ways in which APEC economies could support increased trade in environmental services. We task officials to advance work on enhancing trade in environmental services, including by identifying environmentally related services across service sectors, and to report on progress at our APEC Ministerial Meeting in November. To ensure that services can contribute to long-term sustainability, we agree that economies will then take forward discussions on how to increase trade in environmental and environmentally related services, including by supporting liberalisation, facilitation, and cooperation. We instruct officials to report on the outcomes of these discussions at the 2022 MRT.

We recognise the importance of the global agricultural and food systems, underpinned by WTO rules, bringing food, fibre, and other critical products to people all over the world, supporting global food security and sustainable economic development. While the agriculture sector has been resilient and international markets have remained relatively stable during the pandemic, it remains one of the most protected sectors in global trade. We agree on the need for a meaningful outcome on agriculture at MC12, reflecting our collective interests and sensitivities, with a view towards achieving substantial progressive reductions in support and protection as envisaged in the continuation of the reform process provided in Article 20 of the Agreement on Agriculture and existing mandates.

Market-distorting subsidies undermine a level-playing field. We are also increasingly concerned about those subsidies that have a negative environmental impact. We recall APEC’s 2015 commitment to rationalise and phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption, while recognising the importance of providing those in need with essential energy services. We task our officials to explore options, for those members that are in a position to do so, to undertake a potential voluntary standstill on inefficient fossil fuel subsidies for progress to be reported to ministers in November. We support capacity-building initiatives to advance progress towards the commitment, including further voluntary peer reviews.

APEC’s work needs to deliver for all members of society, including women, MSMEs, and others with untapped economic potential. In this regard, we note recent initiatives in APEC to unlock the economic potential of Indigenous peoples. It is our responsibility to ensure our economic policies and trade and investment environment also promote equality of opportunity and advance economic inclusion. APEC should move at a faster pace to support businesses of all types, particularly MSMEs and start-ups, to access domestic and international markets. Our economic and technical cooperation and capacity building can reduce administrative barriers; promote education, training and skills development; enhance access to technology, finance and cross-border payment mechanisms; and ensure access to market and regulatory information.

APEC is also making useful contributions towards identifying policies and implementing structural reforms in support of inclusive and sustainable transitions to the future of work. To this end, we strongly support the ongoing work to implement the La Serena Roadmap for Women and Inclusive Growth across APEC’s work agenda, which supports the economic empowerment of women. We encourage work that empowers women and others with untapped economic potential to access capital and markets, including through trade.

3. Shaping our future prosperity

It is critical that the economic settings in each of our economies enable trade and investment to become driving forces for our long-term economic prosperity, as we respond to the economic crisis. We welcome APEC’s efforts to refresh its structural reform agenda, which will outline pillars of work including creating an enabling environment for open, transparent, and competitive markets and boosting business recovery and resilience against future shocks to promote strong, balanced, inclusive, innovative, and sustainable growth.

The pandemic has accelerated the process of digitalisation, with the adoption of digital solutions no longer optional but necessary. We instruct officials to respond to ABAC’s urgent call to accelerate progress on the APEC Internet and Digital Economy Roadmap work programme. We must create an enabling, inclusive and non-discriminatory digital economy that fosters the application of new technologies, allows businesses and entrepreneurs to thrive, facilitates the flow of data, strengthens consumer and business trust, and allows goods and services to move seamlessly across borders. At the same time, it is important to bridge the digital divide by facilitating access to information and communication technologies and the skills everyone needs to thrive in the digital economy where no one is left behind. Our work on the digital economy is critical for our future economic prosperity and is reflected in the APEC connectivity agenda and initiatives to build and safeguard an open, healthy, competitive, seamless and comprehensively connected and integrated Asia- Pacific region.

As a concrete step that can also make a significant contribution to our response to COVID-19, we will accelerate implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, particularly those articles relating to: the accelerated use of digitalisation for border processes; pre-arrival processing of electronic declarations; electronic documents, electronic certification, electronic payments; expedited shipments; and border agency cooperation. APEC is well-placed to support economies in these efforts. This will further enhance the efficiency of supply chains. We agree to embed digital trade facilitation measures taken by APEC members during COVID-
19. We task officials to report on progress when we meet again at the APEC Ministerial Meeting in November.

We support ongoing efforts to conclude, ratify, implement and upgrade bilateral and regional trade agreements that benefit and protect our people, enhance predictability and transparency for our businesses, complement the multilateral trading system, and contribute to deeper economic integration in the region. These undertakings are strengthened by APEC’s extensive work to support high quality and comprehensive trade and investment outcomes in the Asia-Pacific, particularly our ongoing implementation of the Lima Declaration on the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP). We note ABAC’s call to ensure FTAAP remains the organising principle for regional economic integration. We also recognise the importance of regional, sub- regional and remote area connectivity through quality infrastructure development and investment, based upon relevant APEC work.

Last year APEC Economic Leaders proclaimed the Putrajaya Vision for an open, dynamic, resilient and peaceful Asia-Pacific community by 2040, and we urge officials to finalise their design of a concrete implementation plan across all elements of the vision by the time of the 2021 APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting.

We thank New Zealand for hosting the APEC MRT meeting and look forward to reviewing progress when we meet again in November.

Haumi ē, Hui ē, Tāiki ē
Join, Work, Grow. Together

APEC MRT Statement on COVID-19 Vaccine Supply Chains

We, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministers Responsible for Trade;

Welcoming progress implementing the 2020 APEC Declaration on Facilitating the Movement of Essential Goods, across export restrictions, non-tariff barriers, trade facilitation, and tariffs;

Recalling APEC Economic Leaders’ determination and commitment to ensure the smooth distribution of essential goods across borders;

Recognising the importance of ensuring the safety, efficiency, and resilience of supply chains for COVID-19 vaccines and related goods for the region’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic;

Acknowledging the work by the World Health Organization (WHO), World Customs Organization (WCO) and other international organisations in facilitating COVID-19 vaccines and related goods;

Consistent with World Trade Organization (WTO) rights and obligations, WCO standards and the International Health Regulations;

Commit to accelerating implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement and take further action in the following areas:

1 We agree to use the WCO-WHO list of COVID-19 vaccines and related goods1 as a reference for facilitating trade. APEC economies will expedite the flow and transit of all COVID-19 vaccines and related goods through their air, sea and land ports. We will expedite their release upon arrival, including by providing for advance electronic submission and processing of information to enable immediate release upon arrival.
2 We will advance the implementation of the Best Practice Guidelines for APEC Customs Administrations to Facilitate the Distribution of COVID-19 Vaccines and Related Goods. We agree to embed the trade facilitation measures implemented during the pandemic, including digitising customs procedures, expediting the flow of goods across borders, and boosting coordination between traders and border agencies.
3 While WTO rules permit export restrictions or prohibitions in certain circumstances, we emphasise economies who adopt such measures with respect to COVID-19 vaccines and related goods will evaluate their ongoing necessity as COVID-19 conditions change, in order to ensure they remain targeted, proportional, transparent, temporary, and do not create unnecessary barriers to trade. We call on other WTO members to exercise equal restraint.
4 We will consider voluntary actions to reduce the cost of these products for our people, particularly by encouraging each economy to review its own charges levied at the border on COVID-19 vaccines and related goods.
5 We will take appropriate measures to prevent criminal exploitation of supply chains and to prevent the entry and import of illegal, dangerous, sub-standard or counterfeit COVID-19 vaccines and related goods. This could include further implementing the APEC Roadmap to Promote Global Medical Product Quality and Supply Chain Security and related toolkit.

Review Mechanism
The APEC Secretariat will make a summary report on the actions implemented by economies under this initiative by the APEC Ministerial Meeting in November 2021, and every twelve months thereafter until COVID-19 is no longer determined to be a public health emergency of international concern.
Drawing on the reporting from the APEC Secretariat, APEC economies will review the progress of this initiative and report to us when we meet again in November.

APEC MRT Statement on Services to Support the Movement of Essential Goods

In 2020, in response to COVID-19, APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade committed to work to facilitate the movement of essential goods across borders and minimise disruptions to the global supply chains.

Recognising the importance of ensuring that trade continues to flow during the COVID-19 pandemic;

Recognising the vital role that services play in supporting the movement of essential goods as well as in the distribution of vaccines;

Committed to working together to facilitate the supply of services to support the movement of essential goods at this critical time;

Committed to a free, open, fair, non-discriminatory, transparent, inclusive and predictable trade and investment environment,

Reiterating our commitment to respond effectively and transparently to the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure that essential goods reach the destinations where they are needed during the pandemic, we APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade, hereby declare:

Barriers to Trade in Services

APEC economies should prioritise identifying unnecessary barriers to trade in any relevant services that may hinder expediting and facilitating the movement of essential goods, and should ensure consistency of any such barriers with their World Trade Organization (WTO) and preferential trade agreement obligations and commitments.

These efforts should be supported by a strong international set of disciplines. In this context, we note the progress made in the WTO under the Joint Statement Initiative on Domestic Regulation in Services. APEC member participants in this Initiative encourage conclusion of these negotiations as soon as possible.

Trade Facilitation

APEC economies will work to ensure the smooth and continued operation of the logistics networks that serve as the backbone of global supply chains. Building on the APEC Declaration on Facilitating the Movement of Essential Goods, we commit to enhancing coordination, efficiency and transparency around transport and logistical services, including those required for the border clearance of essential goods.

Each APEC economy is encouraged to facilitate services that support the expediting and release of essential goods upon arrival. This includes allowing services suppliers to digitally submit import documentation and other required information, such as manifests, in order to begin processing prior to the arrival of goods.

Review Mechanism

APEC economies will update the progress of these initiatives as part of the review of the Declaration on Facilitating the Movement of Essential Goods. The first such review will be conducted in 2022.

 

FINAL Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting Joint Statement 2021

The Cabinet today approved the National Investment Aspirations (NIA), a forward-looking growth framework that will form the basis for comprehensive reforms of Malaysia’s investment policies. At its core, the NIA will focus on coherence and cohesiveness, with these aspirations being reflected across all national policy documents and initiatives related to investment, including the Fourth Industrial Masterplan and the 12th Malaysia Plan.

In pursuing investment policy reviews and reforms, the NIA is also guided by the essence of the Shared Prosperity Vision (SPV) 2030. The NIA is a product of comprehensive stakeholder consultations and has taken into account views and feedback from Ministries and Agencies, Government-linked Companies (GLCs) and Government-linked Investment Companies (GLICs), the private sector, as well as research organisations and think tanks.

Senior Minister and Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI), Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali underscored that the NIA will be central to revitalise Malaysia’s investment climate, attract high quality investments into the country and create high income jobs, particularly in a post-COVID era. He also highlighted the leadership role that will be assumed by MITI in spearheading national-level efforts to review policies and restructure the nation’s investment strategies, as mandated by the NIA.

The 5 core parameters framing the NIA will be integral to enhance the nation’s competitiveness and ensure that Malaysia remains a preferred investment destination. These aspirations will bear the foundation for Malaysia to become a regional investment hub, which will:

  1. increase economic diversity and complexity through the development of sophisticated products and services, with high local Research and Development (R&D) and innovation;
  2. create high skill jobs to provide better income for the rakyat;
  3. expand and integrate domestic linkages into regional and global supply chains, by improving their resiliency;
  4. develop new and existing clusters focusing on high productivity sectors, including local products and services; and
  5. improve inclusivity to contribute towards the socio-economic developmental agenda

Going forward, Malaysia must adopt a comprehensive approach to reinvigorating the investment ecosystem and respond adequately to emerging mega trends as well as the evolving needs of our investors, the Senior Minister added. Malaysia needs to rise to this challenge by continuously enhancing our unique value propositions, which span across a wide array of elements such as incentives, facilitation, talent, infrastructure, as well as legal, regulatory, procedural and institutional mechanisms.

“In order to enable further diversification and ventures into more complex industries, emphasis should also be accorded towards fostering a robust and dynamic tax and incentives regime, building our talent pool in close collaboration with the relevant industries, improving our licensing and regulatory frameworks and augmenting the facilitation elements such as customs procedures”, said the Senior Minister and Minister of International Trade and Industry.

The NIA also recognises the significant role of investment promotion strategies in attracting quality investments. In this context, the NIA will guide policy and non-policy prescriptions that place a specific emphasis on more targeted, relevant and effective investment promotion and facilitation strategies. This is pivotal to ensure that investments in the identified priority sectors are able to flow into the country and thus lead to positive economic spill over effects.

The NIA focuses on inclusivity and sustainability that is compatible with the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals, as new investments that are anchored upon these elements will propel growth in the technologically-sophisticated sectors, as well as strengthen forward and backward linkages. This will also provide a pathway for investors to access new market opportunities, particularly in developed countries that mainstream sustainability throughout their value chain. In this context, the NIA takes into account the global interest surrounding carbon-neutrality, including the use of technology to help reduce carbon foot-print.

The NIA will also serve to improve the existing institutional setup, as it mandates the establishment of a National Investment Council, to be chaired by the YAB Prime Minister. The membership of the Council will include relevant Ministries and Agencies, as well as GLCs and GLICs led by Khazanah Nasional. Membership may also be extended to other relevant stakeholders. This Council will be responsible for the formulation of overarching investment policies and resolution of key implementation issues. It will ensure that the NIA is reflected across all Government measures related to investment.

As part of the institutional reforms, and in line with the NIA mandate for better policy coherence, the role of MIDA will be further strengthened. In fulfilling its role as the coordinating central investment promotion agency and a one stop centre for potential investments, MIDA will work collaboratively with the relevant investment promotion agencies to harness the competitive strengths of each and every state within Malaysia.

In the long term, the NIA will encourage sustained flow of quality investments in new and possibly complex growth areas, foster innovation and sophistication, create greater job opportunities and improve income prospects. It will also further build investors’ and business confidence in Malaysia, as we continue to remain competitive and serve as the epicentre for economic and business activities in the region.

MINISTRY OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND INDUSTRY (MITI)
21 APRIL 2021

MEDIA STATEMENT

The declaration by three Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) MPs as independent MPs in support of the Perikatan Nasional (PN) Government under the leadership of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is indeed a courageous and principled move that meets the aspirations of the rakyat for a fully functioning and stable government.

We therefore unanimously welcome the dynamic political move made by YB Larry Sng (Julau), YB Steven Choong (Tebrau) and YB Dato’ Dr. Xavier Jayakumar (Kuala Langat). No doubt, this is a progressive development that signifies their confidence in the Perikatan Nasional Government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the proactive, decisive and timely measures implemented to jump start the economy and ensure sustainable recovery.

Their decision to leave PKR was also driven by a deep sense of frustration with the leadership of Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim whose policy of divide and rule, nepotistic practices and cronyism has plunged the party into self-destruct mode.

PKR’s Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution, who has been leading the current virulent attacks against the three MPs, would do well to keep his peace, as he does not have the moral standing to preach about party hopping, having been a champion in this regard, initially jumping from UMNO to PKR, then from PKR to PAS and subsequently, from PAS back to PKR.

Unlike YB Dato’ Dr. Xavier who was an elected Vice President of PKR, Saifuddin’s political standing in the party is at best weak and strictly speaking, being merely an appointee, has no democratic legitimacy. It is understandable why he has no choice but to do Anwar’s bidding particularly in times like these.

If Saifuddin is really earnest about the rule of law, due process and the fight against corruption, as he has made himself out to be, why has he remained so conspicuously silent about the corruption case involving a prominent PH leader which was abruptly terminated even as the trial was proceeding smoothly – much to the disappointment and consternation of the MACC and the public alike?

Further, the allegation that Perikatan Nasional is using enticement and intimidation to garner the support of MPs from Pakatan Harapan is utterly baseless. The fact of the matter is that these MPs have made their own objective assessment and realised that the PN Government has taken responsible measures in dealing with the pandemic by channelling a total of RM320 billion for the benefit of the rakyat and to revitalise the economy.

More seriously, the allegation represents a completely unwarranted and scurrilous attack on the MACC and the police, our integrity and law enforcement institutions which all law abiding citizens hold with the highest regard. We do not take lightly these blatantly seditious accusations that could undermine the credibility of our national institutions and call for swift action against the perpetrators.

We call on leaders and members of PKR to reflect not just on the latest decision taken by the three MPs, but also ponder on the larger issue as to why so many top PKR leaders and long serving members have left the party.

PKR, under the current formulation, can no longer claim to be championing the principles of justice and welfare for the people, having lost its idealism and gone astray largely because of the insatiable lust for power and ambition of one man to become Prime Minister.

Furthermore, it may be an inconvenient truth, but Anwar Ibrahim must accept the bitter fact that his leadership is rejected by a large cross section of his own party members because a party that has lost its bearings can no longer claim the moral high ground to lead. This is most unfortunate because we know that there are leaders and members of PKR who have been holding fast to the original principles and idealism of the party only to find themselves side-lined and even victimised by the powers that be under the president. Instead of relentlessly pursuing the noble causes for which the party was founded, the powermongers have hijacked the reform agenda for the benefit of themselves, their families and their cronies.

Now is the time for decisive action. Let us forge ahead with Perikatan Nasional under Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and move forward in strength, unity and conviction for the wellbeing and success of the rakyat and the nation.

YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali
YB Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin
YB Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah
YB Dato’ Mohd Rashid Hasnon
YB Dato’ Kamarudin Jaffar
YB Dato’ Dr. Mansor Othman
YB Datuk Seri Dr. Santhara Kumar
YB Datuk Ali Biju
YB Datuk Willie Mongin
YB Jonathan Yasin

14 March 2021

The Economic Ministers of ASEAN will convene their first ministerial meeting this year through the virtual 27th ASEAN Economic Ministers’ (AEM) Retreat from 2 to 3 March 2021. Senior Minister and Minister of International Trade and Industry, Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali will lead the Malaysian delegation at this occasion.

This year, Brunei Darussalam as Chair of ASEAN 2021, presents its theme “We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper”, which underscores the importance of fostering the well-being of people, preparing for future opportunities and uncertainties, as well as prospering together as a unified region.

Malaysia extends strong support to Brunei Darussalam’s Chairmanship and looks forward to forging closer coordination and cooperation with all ASEAN Member States in implementing steps for economic recovery, as well as pursuing the regional economic integration agenda as embedded in the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Blueprint 2025, whilst charting the future of AEC post-2025.

The AEM Retreat, being the first scheduled meeting for the ASEAN Economic Ministers, will deliberate the Priority Economic Deliverables under Brunei Darussalam’s Chairmanship of ASEAN, operationalisation of the AEC Blueprint 2025 and progress updates on ASEAN external economic relations. It will also discuss the recommendations made by the High-Level Task Force on Economic Integration (HLTF-EI) to the AEM, as well as decisions made by Leaders at the ASEAN Summit last November.

The Economic Ministers will also undertake earnest discussions on the development of post-COVID-19 recovery efforts at both national and regional levels, follow-ups on ASEAN’s various recovery efforts, especially on the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework (ACRF) and its Implementation Plan, and other related strategies in stimulating regional economic recovery and resilience.

The annual consultation with ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) will be held back-to-back with the AEM Retreat. As ASEAN esteems the support and contribution from stakeholders such as the private sector in steering the AEC agenda, this platform also provides constructive exchange of ideas towards jointly materialising regional recovery efforts through timely and meaningful implementation of the ACRF that would benefit ASEAN community as a whole.

MINISTRY OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND INDUSTRY (MITI)

26 FEBRUARY 2021

MEDIA RELEASE – THE 27TH AEM RETREAT – 26.2.2021.pdf

Media Statement

Tomorrow, on February 24th, the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme will be implemented, signifying the largest immunisation plan in Malaysia’s history and a gamechanger in our battle against the pandemic.

The Perikatan Nasional Government under the leadership of Prime Minister, YAB Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, has taken proactive, firm and decisive steps in implementing this programme in order to ensure the protection of public health, secure the well-being of the people and generate the prosperity of the nation.

The programme is aimed at protecting frontliners and ensure optimal health services, protecting the high-risk population group from morbidity and mortality as well as achieving herd immunity in order to reopen all sectors of the economy. This programme will also control outbreaks in high- risk areas while reducing COVID-19 transmission rates.

It cannot be overstressed that mass vaccination is essential in order to accelerate and ensure an effective and sustainable economic recovery. This measure will revitalise the efforts and activities of our economic frontliners. As the saying goes, “A healthy economy in a healthy body.”

With the successful implementation of the vaccination programme, the World Bank has projected the Malaysian economy to grow at a rate of 6.7% in 2021. We are confident that this effort will provide the shot-in-the-arm to boost the flow of Foreign Direct Investment into the country, thus accelerating our economic recovery.

As herd immunity is achieved and all economic sectors are reopened, we will be able to revitalise the tourism sector which supports 3.56 million jobs and represents one of the largest sectors for employment in the country.

Tomorrow is a new dawn for Malaysia in our war against COVID-19. Perikatan Nasional calls on the people to give their full support and ensure the success of the National Programme.

MOHAMED AZMIN ALI

23 FEBRUARY 2021

PS KP Vaccination Final ENG.pdf

As we usher in the Year of the Ox, I would like to wish Gōng Xǐ Fā Cái to the Chinese community with hope and prayers for success, happiness and prosperity.

The Ox is an auspicious zodiac bearing the positive traits of perseverance, strength, hard work, resilience and wealth. Therefore, let us celebrate this Chinese New Year with full determination and commitment to work harder and to persevere against the challenges of COVID-19 and the economic repercussions. Armed with this firm conviction, I am confident we will achieve success. Together, let us take inspiration from the values of the Year of the Ox to create new glory for Malaysia.

Although the Chinese New Year is a celebration of the Chinese community, Malaysians from other races and communities also celebrate it in the spirit of goodwill and harmony. Let us, therefore, go forward together in strength and unity to ensure speedy and sustainable economic recovery for a future that is bright and promising.

Xīn Nián Kuài Lè, Wan Shì Rú Yì, Gōng Xǐ Fā Cái!

Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali

11 February 2021

Year 2020 has been challenging to global trade as a result of the stringent lockdown measures imposed across the board due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This directly caused major disruptions to global supply chains, especially movement of goods and services, and severely affected manufacturing activities.

Despite this unprecedented scenario, Malaysia’s external trade performed fairly well with exports rebounding in the second half of 2020 as compared to the negative growth recorded in the first half of the year. This could be attributed to the progressive opening of the economy and gradual recovery of external demand. In fact, exports in December was the highest monthly value recorded for 2020.

Exports to China recorded a new high in 2020 and similar momentum was reported for the United States which posted the largest value in the last decade. There was significant export growth to the emerging markets notably Costa Rica, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. Rubber products, electrical and electronics (E&E) products, as well as palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products registered strong export expansion.

Meanwhile, the trade surplus was the highest ever recorded thus maintaining a sustained surplus trend for 23 consecutive years since 1998. Malaysia’s trade performance was in tandem with countries in the region notably Indonesia, Singapore, the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Thailand.

While trade with existing Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partners in 2020 stood at RM1.185 trillion, registering a decrease of 3.7% and accounted for 66.7% of Malaysia’s total trade, the recent signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic

Partnership (RCEP), the biggest FTA in the world, will provide Malaysian companies and businesses access to more than a third of the world’s market, attract foreign direct investment and will be a boon to our export growth.

Going forward, investor confidence has been bolstered by Moody’s latest affirmation of Malaysia’s local and foreign currency long-term issuer ratings at A3, with a stable outlook. This is a testament to the Government’s strong fiscal discipline and robust medium-term growth prospects and demonstrates Moody’s confidence in Malaysia as having strong credit standing. While these are challenging times, the Government’s priority is to place the nation firmly on the path of economic recovery particularly with the 12th Malaysian Plan as the blueprint for sustainable growth founded on sound economic fundamentals and decisive policy measures. This bodes well for greater and more robust trade performance.

Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali

30 January 2021

Full Statement – Trade Performance Press Release Dec 2020.pdf