Strategic Trade Act 2010 to increase international trade

SECURE TRADING ENVIRONMENT: Sagan says the STA will facilitate trade in a secure trading environment and enhance the image of the country as a responsible member of the international trading community.

Dato’ Jacob Dungau Sagan

KUCHING: The Strategic Trade Act 2010 (STA), a law passed to comply with international trade and security standards, will increase the confidence of investors and trading partners to enhance trade and investment relations with Malaysia.

Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry Dato’ Jacob Dungau Sagan stated this yesterday when officiating an industry outreach and international compliance workshop co-organised by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti) and the US Department of State as part of the Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) programme.

“Miti, which has been tasked with the implementation of the STA, has established the Strategic Trade Secretariat, not only to implement the Act but also to create awareness among the various stakeholders.

“Outreach seminars and capacity building programmes are continuously and intensively being conducted to increase awareness as well as to ensure smooth implementation of the Act.

“This will be continued as part of Miti’s programme to work with our stakeholders for the common national good,” he said.

The STA would promote a transparent system that would facilitate the transfer of technology from developed countries to Malaysia, which would benefit the country in its strides towards becoming a high income nation.

In short, the STA would facilitate trade in a secure trading environment and enhance the image of the country as a responsible member of the international trading community, he underlined.

Comprising objectives parallel with that of the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1540, the STA was passed by Parliament on June 10, 2010 and saw various trade regulatory components come into effect to date.

UNSCR 1540 required member countries to establish and enforce an appropriate effective export control system for the purpose of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Concurrently, several amendments had been made to the STA to ensure that the underlying regulations were business friendly so that compliance by the business community could be further facilitated.

Inclusive of the said amendments was the removal of transit/transshipping licence for category product 5A2 and 5B2 which were items pertaining to information security systems, equipment, tests and inspection.

According to Sagan, Miti had conducted a total of 120 outreach programmes with 4,583 participants from trade and industry associations, companies and researchers.

In addition, it also conducted ‘Meet the Client’ sessions with hope to engage with the business community and facilitate their compliance to the STA.

Beginning March 1 this year the Royal Malaysian Customs began validating all STA permits, where 309 companies registered under the regulatory act. A total of 1,580 permits and six Broker Certificates had been issued under the STA.

Notably, 79 companies had obtained approval for the International Compliance Programme which was a prerequisite for them to obtain bulk and multi-use permits valid for two years.

Also present at the workshop were deputy strategic trade controller of the Strategic Trade Secretariat (Miti) Faisal Mohd Yusof, EXBS regional advisor William Comley and EXBS panel speaker Jay Nash.

According to Nash, international trade obligations involved all aspects of trade and business activities such as manufacturing, services, banking, financing, and logistics.

He noted the negative connotation of the word ‘control’ in the regulatory mandates of the current international trade climate underscored with contemporary security issues such as radiological, chemical and pathogenic materials.

Rather than dwell on the adverse sentiments under such conditions, he emphasised the mutually beneficial economic advantages as a result of international efforts to forge a secure trading environment for legitimate and compliant participants.

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