Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan, Malaysia’s Second Minister of International Trade and Industry, will brief Asia House corporate members on how Malaysia aims to spearhead a series of free trade agreements (FTAs) to unlock its economic potential. He will also discuss the current and potential future role of the Commonwealth in international trade.
Ong is responsible for the development of Malaysia’s strategy aimed at enhancing its international competitiveness.
With the majority of trade benefits flowing into the country through FTAs, economic liberalisation is at the core of Malaysia’s economic strategy. While the reversal of the Trans-Pacific Partnership was an unwelcome decision for Kuala Lumpur, Ong has heralded that ‘there are many possibilities that (the remaining) 11 countries can still proceed with’.
Malaysia also has three more FTAs in the pipeline, including with the European Union and Hong Kong.
Citing Malaysia’s most recent agreement with Turkey, which boosted trade volumes by 125 per cent, Ong Ka Chuan expressed the need for the country to move beyond its geographically proximate partners in the ASEAN region.
Ong is also Secretary-General of the Malaysian Chinese Association. Before assuming his current post, he was Minister of Housing and Local Government.