Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak foresees the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations to be tough in the next few months.
The key to it, he said, is to be flexible as with flexibility things will get done in the end.
He said this when answering a question during his talk, "The New Meetings, Moderation: The New Modernity", which was co-sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations' (CFR) Religion and Foreign Policy Initiative at the Peter G. Peterson Hall, The Harold Pratt House, New York.
The participant who asked the question is a CFR member in Washington, DC, and was a participant in the meeting via videoconference.
Najib, who is also the Finance Minister, said Malaysia agreed to participate in the negotiations because he is a great believer in free trade and open regionalism.
Najib said he was looking at the context of increasing trade and investment which will be great for the nations involved, including Malaysia and the United States.
But, the TPPA did not stop at trade and investment alone, as there were other issues that would impeach the domestic interest of Malaysia, he said.
He said being an elected Member of Parliament, he must address the people's concerns.
"We want to do both… An agreement to stimulate growth for the whole region, but at the same time we need the backing of the people," he said.
International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said in the Dewan Rakyat recently that the government will not compromise on the interests of Bumiputeras and small-and-medium enterprises in the TPPA talks. - Bernama, September 27, 2013.