FMM says 77% of Malaysian manufacturers not utilising RCEP, CPTPP agreements yet

KUALA LUMPUR (March 16): Only 11% of Malaysian manufacturers are utilising both the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) agreements.

Based on the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers’ (FMM) Business Conditions Survey for the second half of 2022, 66% of the 745 respondents said they are aware of the free trade agreements (FTAs).

Meanwhile, 9% of respondents are utilising the RCEP implemented in March 2022, and 3% of respondents are utilising the CPTPP implemented in November 2022. 

FMM president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai said more than three-quarters (77%) of the respondents had not started utilising these FTAs yet. 

“Most (41%) cited reasons of not knowing where to start, suggesting a lack of information or policy direction on these FTAs among the respondents,” Soh said at a press conference at Wisma FMM on Thursday (March 16). 

According to him, while another 33% said they are already utilising other FTAs and the duty exemption rate is lower, 16% are not importing or exporting, and 6% have complained of a tedious application process.