(Press Release)

The Second Meeting on Malaysia-Japan Closer Economic Partnership (CEP)

5 July 2003

The Second Meeting on Closer Economic Partnership (CEP) between Malaysia and Japan was held in Langkawi, Malaysia on 4th and 5th July 2003. This is a follow up of the first CEP meeting held in Tokyo from 8 - 9 May 2003.

The Japanese side was headed by H.E. Ichiro Fujisaki, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs while the Malaysian side was headed by H.E. Tan Sri Ahmad Fuzi Hj. Abdul Razak, Secretary General of Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Meeting was attended by representatives from relevant ministries and Government agencies from both sides.

Both sides exchanged views on a broad range of issues covering liberalization, promotion and facilitation of trade and investment. These include trade in goods, trade in services, investment, rules of origin, movement of natural persons, government procurement, customs procedures, paperless trading, standard and conformance, intellectual property, competition policy and business environment.

Both sides also discussed other areas of co-operation for consideration to be incorporated in the CEP. These include education, science and technology, human resources development, financial co-operation, agriculture, primary commodities, forestry, minerals, information and communication technology, small and medium enterprises, broadcasting, tourism, transportation, health and Research & Development.

Both sides agreed that significant progress was achieved in the consultation process. The meeting also agreed to proceed to the next stage of the process, by convening a Joint Study Group with the participation of private sector representatives and academicians. The Joint Study Group would meet in Kuala Lumpur on 29 - 30 September 2003. Actual negotiations between the two sides to conclude the CEP will take place when mutually agreed, after the completion of this process.

Both sides shared the view that the CEP should result in mutual benefits to both countries and agreed to accelerate the process towards its realization.

The meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere befitting the close and friendly relations that exist between the two countries. The Japanese delegation expressed their sincere gratitude to the Malaysian counterpart for the warm and special hospitality extended to them during their stay in Langkawi.

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