On the 2nd and 3rd of December 2019, Ms. Maes Alconcel and Mr. Paolo R. Vergano (ARISE Plus experts) worked with MITI and a number of Malaysian Ministries, as well as the Malaysian Productivity Commission (MPC), to advance the process of identification, classification, packaging and validation of Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs) in the Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) sectors of regulation for upload on the ATR. Meetings and technical discussions were held with the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (i.e., ASEAN Department), which is Malaysias ATR/NTR Focal Point, the Malaysian Productivity Commission, which is in charge of streamlining NTMs in Malaysia and has been doing a lot of identification and classification work, the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Health (i.e., a number of line departments thereof, in charge of animal health, plant protection, fisheries and foods safety, respectively), clarifying a number of issues and validating several NTMs. To date, Malaysia has identified, classified, packaged and validated 80 SPS NTMs, which will soon be uploaded onto the ATR (target date: 31 December 2019). Initial work and planning was also conducted with respect to the NTMs in the area of Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), 372 of which have so far been identified and verified by ARISE Plus.
While in Kuala Lumpur, Paolo R. Vergano also attended, upon the kind invitation of Mr. Nicolas Dross from the Trade Section of the EU Delegation to Malaysia, the monthly meeting of the EU Member States Trade Counsellors to Malaysia, providing an update on two ARISE Plus flagship ASEAN trade facilitation tools, namely the ASEAN Trade Repository (ATR, www.atr.asean.org) and the ASEAN Solutions for Services, Investment and Trade (ASSIST, www.assist.asean.org), which have been developed and operationalised by ASEAN with support from the European Union under the ARISE and ARISE Plus Programmes. The ATR and ASSIST can be increasingly useful to EU invested companies that are based in one ASEAN Member State and from there access the markets of the other nine ASEAN Member States