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August 2005 update on the Australia-Malaysia Free Trade Agreement Negotiations

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Second round of negotiations

The second round of negotiations took place in Kuala Lumpur from
3-5 August.

Discussions covered a wide range of issues, including trade in
goods, trade in services, investment and a range of trade
facilitation issues. The bulk of these discussions took place
in meetings of four Working Groups (on Goods, Services, Investment
and Other Issues) which were established at the first negotiating
round. These Working Group sessions brought together relevant
experts from both sides, allowing for focused discussions.

The round provided Australia and Malaysia with the opportunity
to develop a better understanding of each other's trade
regimes and FTA negotiating experiences. This process of
exchanging information will continue in the lead up to - and during
- the next negotiating round. This is an important part of
the preparatory process for substantive negotiations.

Discussions covered each country's respective tariff
regimes, rules of origin, sanitary and phytosanitary measures,
technical barriers to trade, customs procedures, regulation of
services sectors, respective foreign investment regimes,
intellectual property, electronic commerce, competition policy,
government procurement, dispute settlement, institutional
provisions and economic cooperation. At this stage,
information only was exchanged and no commitments were entered
into. In many cases, more information was sought, and will be
provided inter-sessionally.

Negotiators also began discussions on the structure and content
of the agreement. Both sides will prepare draft text on
selected issues for discussion at the third negotiating round.

The 12th Australia-Malaysia Joint Trade Committee
meeting was held in Kuala Lumpur on 26 August. Australian and
Malaysia trade Ministers reviewed progress in the MAFTA
negotiations. They underlined their commitment to negotiating
a comprehensive, high-quality Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that will
provide significant economic benefits to business in both
countries.

Last Updated: 10 December 2010
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