CPTPP represents an untapped potential for Malaysia. This gold-standard trade deal brings forth markets that can be utilised for trade growth as well as socioeconomic development. Vietnam, for example, has used the CPTPP to not only bolster their trade positions with intra-CPTPP partners, but also other nations as the CPTPP made Vietnam adhere to open regionalism that became a basis of trade creation. Given time and support, the CPTPP has encouraged FDI into Vietnam as the standards set by the CPTPP open its domestic market to foreign investors with minimum hindrances or barriers. As a result, Vietnam’s FDI inflows increased by 7 per cent in 2019 when the COVID-19 pandemic started; its exports also increased by 4 per cent per annum after ratifying CPTPP. The case of Vietnam shows the potential benefits that CPTPP can bring to an economy.
Malaysia’s position as a trading nation, parallel to Vietnam’s, can potentially strengthen with the CPTPP. A 1 per cent increase to our GDP is as valuable as the possibilities of reforms that CPTPP will bring. Malaysia’s digital economy trade that has grown by 16% would also be further boosted with CPTPP ratification, especially with new trade deals built with CPTPP in mind such as the 2020 Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA) between Singapore, New Zealand and Chile.
CPTPP argues for reforms and realignment of economic direction. Malaysia’s aim to become a trading powerhouse verges upon trade openness and transparency. CPTPP is a route available for us to take, and its potential is limitless with more countries showing eagerness to enter.