October 31, 2018 / 5:51 AM / 10 months ago

Malaysian PM Mahathir says still studying Pacific trade pact

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad gives a speech at Chulalongkorn University, in Bangkok, Thailand October 25, 2018. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Wednesday his administration was still studying the effects of a 11-member Pacific trade pact that is set to come into force later this year.

“We are studying it very deeply to make sure it does not have a bad effect on our economy,” Mahathir told reporters, adding that Kuala Lumpur has not set a deadline to ratify the pact.

Earlier, New Zealand said the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will come into force at the end of December. Malaysia is one of the five countries that has not yet ratified the deal.

Mahathir, elected to power in May, had earlier this year called for a review of the trade agreement, saying smaller economies like Malaysia were at a disadvantage under the current terms.

Reporting by Joseph Sipalan; Writing by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Shri Navaratnam

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