Up Close and Personal with YBhg Tan Sri Dr. Rebecca Fatima Sta. Maria
Date: Friday, 3 June 2016
Time: 2.30pm - 7.00pm
Venue: Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur
The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (“TPPA”) which was signed on 4 February 2016 has generated mixed reviews from the public. The prospects of access to global markets seem to attract larger businesses, but there are fears among small players and small and medium enterprises that increased competition domestically would have an especially adverse impact on their survival. It is with this in mind that Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill invited YBhg Tan Sri Dr. Rebecca Fatima Sta. Maria to speak on the impact of the TPPA on Malaysia.
This event is the sixth edition of Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill’s Up Close and Personal series, or “UCAP”. UCAP is an event organised by the firm to encourage open discourse and the exchange of ideas and opinions. The event is an intimate setting catered for the firm’s loyal clients and friends, in which we engage prominent members of society to speak and discuss on pertinent issues that surround Malaysian society.
Tan Sri Dr. Rebecca is presently the Secretary-General of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (“MITI”). Her involvement and contributions in trade-related matters of the Ministry, including administering Malaysia’s interests under bilateral and regional free trade agreements, as well as Malaysia’s engagements in various international organisations such as ASEAN, APEC and WTO are well recognised. She was the backbone of the TPPA negotiations that took place over the past five years and has also been at the forefront to answer questions from various parties on the TPPA.
During her speech, Tan Sri Dr. Rebecca shared the challenges faced in the negotiation process. The TPPA negotiations were the first time the government has ever engaged civil society for feedback; various interest groups and even members of the opposition parties were invited to share their opinions during the negotiations.
Tan Sri Dr. Rebecca explained the various chapters available in the TPPA and highlighted new chapters which have not been introduced in previous free trade agreements, such as the chapter on environment. She addressed how the TPPA would impact Malaysia, particularly in the areas of intellectual property, investments, government procurement, and state-owned enterprises. From her speech, it can be concluded that the TPPA is a necessity if Malaysia wishes to progress further to become a developed nation.
Tan Sri Dr. Rebecca’s informative speech invited wide-ranging questions from the audience during the Question & Answer session, which was moderated by Dato’ Nitin V. Nadkarni. Her responses would be remembered for their openness and frankness in addressing issues raised by the crowd as well as her practical solutions. Guests were then treated to cocktails and refreshments after the event; the lively discussions continued into the evening.