Japan-Malaysia Economic Partnership Agreement

May 25, 2005

On 25th May 2005, the Prime Minister of Japan, Mr Junichiro Koizumi, and the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato' Seri Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi met, whereby it was confirmed that agreement in principle has been reached on major elements of the Japan-Malaysia Economic Partnership Agreement (hereinafter referred to as the "JMEPA" ).

The JMEPA will mark a new era for Japan-Malaysia strategic partnership, by forging closer economic relations through cooperation, liberalization and facilitation in trade and investment between the two countries.

The JMEPA will also cover a wide range of economic activities including intellectual property, competition policy, enhancement of business environment, and bilateral cooperation in the fields of agriculture, forestry, fisheries and commodities, education and human resource development, information and communications technology, science and technology, small and medium enterprises, tourism and environment.

The two leaders agreed to expedite work in finalizing the text of the JMEPA so as to enable it to come into force as early as possible.

Both sides have reached agreement in principle on major elements of the JMEPA as follows:

1. Industrial Goods

Both sides will eliminate or reduce tariffs comprehensively on industrial products. On auto sector, cooperation will be undertaken to promote competitiveness of the auto and auto components and parts industry in Malaysia for better market expansion. Major commitments by both sides on these industrial sectors are described in Attachment 1.

2. Agricultural, Forestry and Fishery Products

Both sides will eliminate or reduce tariffs comprehensively on agricultural, forestry, and fishery products. Major commitments in those sectors are described in Attachment 2.

3. Customs Procedures

Both sides will promote information exchange and cooperation for the purpose of facilitating trade through simplification and harmonization of customs procedures and effective enforcement.

4. Trade in Services

Both sides made liberalization offers for trade in services in such sectors listed in Attachment 3. A review mechanism will be established to continue further improvements in their commitments including liberalization in principal sectors. Both sides will ensure enhanced transparency on laws, regulations and other relevant measures affecting the bilateral trade in services, so as to improve business and investment environment.

5. Investment

The JMEPA will provide a framework for further expansion and facilitation of freer cross-border investment between the two countries through commitments on national treatment, most favoured nation treatment and enhanced protection of investors and investment.

6. Cooperation

Both sides will promote bilateral cooperation, with a view to strengthening bilateral economic partnership. The details of cooperation under the JMEPA are shown as Attachment 4.

7. Intellectual Property

Both sides recognise the growing importance of intellectual property protection in pursuing further promotion of trade and investment. Both sides will ensure adequate and effective protection of intellectual property and provide for measures for enforcement of intellectual property rights. The JMEPA will provide the basis for both sides to cooperate in this field.

8. Controlling Anti-competitive Activities

Each side will take appropriate measures against anti-competitive activities. The JMEPA will provide the basis for both sides to cooperate in the field of controlling anti-competitive activities.

9. Technical Regulations, Standards and Conformity Assessment Procedures

The JMEPA will provide the basis for closer collaboration in the area of standards and conformance, including the establishment of a framework for the negotiation for possible mutual recognition arrangements.

10. Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures

Both sides recognize the importance of protection of human, animal and plant life and health, and will establish a formal consultation mechanism to discuss SPS issues.

11. Enhancement of Business Environment

Both sides will establish a mechanism for the improvement of business environment, with participation of the two Governments, the respective private sector and other relevant organizations. Such a mechanism may include the establishment of a Business Environment Committee and Liaison Office.


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