Businesses must adapt to face challenges of TPP

Mustapa (standing) explaining the TPP at the Perak State Secretariat Building in Ipoh.


Entrepreneurs need to adapt to a new market environment when the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) agreement is signed says International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

Mustapa said the TPP will pose challenges and entrepreneurs need to change in order to survive.

“One has to adapt, be agile and mobile.

“If you’re involved in selling Raya cards or Christmas cards and then sales are not good, you need to find new business,” he told journalists after giving a briefing on the TPP to civil servants, politicians and entrepreneurs at the Perak State Secretariat Building here on Tuesday.

“In Muar, there are people doing low-end activities, but they are changing. Perak was once heavily dependent on tin mining, but when the industry changed the (tin miners) then became entrepreneurs,” he said.

“People like Tan Sri Jeffry Cheah and Datuk Jimmy Choo from Penang, they became entrepreneurs,” he added.

Mustapa said the people cannot blame the government for their failures if they don’t adapt.

“Retrain yourself and learn new things. The market is not perfect but competition is good,” he said.

“If people fail to move up to new industry, the government will continue its role to assist them,” he added.

On the current roadshow to explain the TPP to the public, Mustapa said the people are starting to understand the trade agreement.

“It is clear that many still don’t fully understand it, only a few.

“At grassroots level, we need to explain to them in bahasa kampung, allowing them to understand easily,” he said.

“For industry, they understand and support the TPP,” he added.

Mustapa also said that there is criticism about the TPP and some of is has basis, including controversies involving labour and environment.

“We want the people to be fair. There are pros and cons so don’t just speak about cons.

“Based on our cost-benefit analysis, the pros outweigh the cons,” he said.

“Maybe there will be increased competitiveness but there’ll also be opportunities. Don’t be defensive,” Mustapa said.

“A good example is Old Town White Coffee from Ipoh, they started small and now, they are in Singapore, China, and Australia. We want to see opportunities like this created under the TPP,” he added. – Businesses must adapt to face challenges of TPP