Published: Tuesday November 20, 2012 MYT 6:32:00 PM

Malaysia's free trade, partnership accords with EU to be concluded in 2013

By David Tan

GEORGE TOWN: Malaysia's free trade and partnership and cooperation agreements (PCA) with the European Union (EU) is expected to be concluded next year.

EU delegation ambassador and head Luc Vandebon said that the FTA agreement, which has reached its seventh round of discussion, was originally scheduled for conclusion last month (October).

"But there are still certain mutually beneficial agreements that have yet to be reached. The PCA, which focuses on political strategic framework, now in its sixth round of discussion, is also expected to be concluded next year," he said on Tuesday.

The last PCA and FTA discussions with Malaysia were held respectively in July and September 2011.

Vandebon was speaking at a press briefing held in conjunction with the 2nd EU-Penang Day. The 1st EU-Penang Day was held in 2011.

"The EU-Penang Day aims to provide an open platform for dialogue and cooperation between the EU and Penang, focusing on trade and investment, culture, higher education, and research and scientific cooperation.

The EU delegates will also meet Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng. They will also visit Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) and attend the "Ambassadors' forum on the EU: A community of member states and people".

Vandebon said although the EU and its member states had worked with Malaysia at the federal level, these initiatives needed to be brought to life on-the-ground through cooperation with Malaysia and the people.

"Penang is an attractive investment and tourism destination to the EU countries as well as of keen interest to the European higher education institutions and companies.

"We are looking forward to expanding our collaboration into new areas where Europe can bring a clear added value in terms of know-how, innovation, and competitiveness," he said.

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