KUALA LUMPUR, July 13 (Bernama) -- The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations are expected to conclude in October next year, almost a year behind the initial deadline of end-2012, an academician said today.
Lim Chin Leng, a professor of law and chair for East Asian International Economic Law Programme at the University of Hong Kong, said given the impending US' presidential election and the entry of new members into TPP, the talks could only end next year.
Canada and Mexico are the latest members in TPP talks. He was asked on the likely of when the negotiation will be concluded following a talk here today on the "The Impact of TPP and Hong Kong's Accession to the Asean China Free Trade Agreement (FTA)," organised by the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation.
Lim said Malaysia would also not be involved in the TPP talks if there were no benefits to the country, and added that Malaysia should not pull back its position as it would lose the preferential access to the US market.
"If it's not in our interest to be in...it doesn't mean that we'll necessarily sign on.
"The deal's not done till it's done and it's not over until we sign."
TPP is a multilateral FTA that aims to further liberalise the economies of the Asia-Pacific region.
Among the countries that have joined the negotiations are Chile, New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei, Australia, Vietnam, and Peru.