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Thursday, 19 January 2017

(The Star) US-Malaysia trade will continue to grow, says council

KUALA LUMPUR: The US-Asean Business Council is confident that trade between the US and Malaysia will continue to grow under the Donald Trump administration, considering Malaysia’s positive trade environment.
Senior vice-president and regional managing director Michael Michalak said although the new US administration did not favour the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the fact that Malaysia had taken several reform measures based on the negotiation would make business environment here more positive.
“This also reflects favourably on the relationship between the new US administration and Malaysia, thus fostering trade between the two economies,” he said after the launch of Advancing the Asean Economic Community: the Digital Economy and the Free Flow of Data report.
The report was produced by the US-Asean Business Council and Deloitte.
Michalak disagreed on views that president-elect Trump would turn towards a protectionist trade policy as he had said that everything was open to negotiation.
“He wants to negotiate, which generally means give and take. Trump believes he can do a better balancing act on what he gives and takes compared to the previous administration.
“Private sector in the United States and all over the world want to continue trade globalisation because it’s better for the world,” he said.
The report highlighted how Asean countries could advance their digital economies through pro-growth digital data management policies.
Present were Microsoft Malaysia and new markets director for legal, corporate and government affairs Jasmine Begum, Deloitte South-East Asia AEC leader Jeff Pirie, and Seagate Asia-Pacific regional director, government affairs, Claudia Chan.
Jasmine said Malaysia is well-positioned to seize the opportunities in the digital economy with the recently announced Digital Free Trade Zone.

“Currently, the digital economy’s contribution to the gross domestic product is at 16.8%. It will easily exceed 20% by 2020, with all the policies on digital economy put in place by the government,” he added. — Bernama