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Earlier in the week, it was reported that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement was set to benefit Malaysia’s automotive sector. According to consulting firm Frost & Sullivan, being part of the 12-nation trade pact will allow the country to have a competitive advantage as an auto parts export hub for the ASEAN region.

This sentiment has been echoed by Proton Edar Dealers Association Malaysia (PEDA), as Bernama reports. The association says it is confident that the arrival of the TPP will provide a wider market access for Proton within the 12 participating countries.

“Our local market will eventually benefit through more competitive pricing as a result of the economies of scale attained,” PEDA president Armin Baniaz Pahamin said, adding that the association’s committee unanimously supports the TPP move, provided that Proton cars can enter the member countries freely with minimal restrictions.

“We believe the TPPA will liberalise these restrictions to make it as easy for us to export our cars to member countries, as it is for foreign companies to enter Malaysia,” he said. He added that without the TPPA, Proton will continue to face stringent import restrictions on its cars in foreign markets.

In December, an economic study released by General Motors said that the removal of non-tariff measures in the automotive industry that prevent free trade within ASEAN would create up to 500,000 new jobs as well as increase economic output. It was also reported that the TPP and other FTAs would bring about cheaper cars in the next few years, though not everyone is confident of that happening, at least not in the immediate future.