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Malaysia is putting a premium on a free trade deal led by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, its trade minister told The Japan Times in a recent interview, while also apparently relegating the Japan-backed Trans-Pacific Partnership to the back burner for the time being.

In a sign of a shift in focus from the previous administration, Minister of International Trade and Industry Darell Leiking said earlier this week that Malaysia, a member of ASEAN, was keen to see a “substantial conclusion” to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership by the year’s end.

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