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(LEAD) Malaysia drums up support for S. Korea's bid to join CPTPP

All News 11:15 April 18, 2022

(ATTN: REPLACES photo with latest)

SEOUL, April 18 (Yonhap) -- Malaysia on Monday expressed support for South Korea's bid to join a mega free trade deal in the Asia-Pacific region, Seoul's trade ministry said.

Malaysia's Senior Minister and International Trade and Industry Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali has voiced support for Seoul's envisioned entry into the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) during a virtual meeting with South Korea's Trade Minister Yeo Han-koo.

Last week, South Korea announced its decision to join the pact and is working to submit an application this month.

"The Malaysian minister welcomed South Korea's planned application for the CPTPP membership and shared his country's ratification procedures for the agreement," the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said in a release.

The CPTPP involves 11 nations, including Malaysia, Australia, Japan, Canada, Mexico and Vietnam, and it accounted for around 15 percent of the world's total trade volume of US$5.2 trillion as of 2020.

So far, seven out of the 11 member nations, including Malaysia, Canada, Australia and Vietnam, have voiced support for Seoul's push to win the membership. The four nations who haven't done so are Japan, Singapore, Chile and Peru.

During the meeting, the two sides also exchanged opinions on the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), which the U.S. has sought to launch in the Asian region amid an intensifying Sino-U.S. rivalry.

Yeo told the Malaysian side that South Korea "is positively reviewing" the participation in the framework, as the platform is expected to help strengthen the region's economic competitiveness and achieve sustainable growth, according to the ministry.

He also voiced hope for enhanced cooperation with Malaysia in supply chains, clean energy and other issues within the framework and via various other cooperation mechanisms.

This photo, provided by South Korea's trade ministry, shows Trade Minister Yeo Han-koo (R) holding a virtual meeting with Malaysia's Senior Minister and International Trade and Industry Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali on April 18, 2022. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

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