SINGAPORE, July 20 (NNN-Bernama) -- Malaysia's strong projected economic growth of 5.4 per cent this year fits in with the growth strategy of the world's largest law firm, Dentons.

In March, Dentons announced its association with Zain & Co, a long-established Malaysian law firm, and with six others firms in Indonesia, Africa and the Caribbean.

With a strong projected economic growth of 5.4 per cent, Malaysia is one of South East Asia's top emerging economies, said Global Vice-Chair and ASEAN Chief Executive Officer Philip Jeyaretnam SC to Bernama.

He said the country's gross domestic product had accelerated sharply due to increased private sector spending and rising exports.

There is external demand for Malaysia's manufactured products and commodity exports such as palm oil and rubber, and we also see Malaysian companies investing more in foreign countries.

These are expected to be boosted once the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is finalised, he said.

The RCEP is expected to be the world's largest free trade deal as it will cover half the world's population and with a combined output that stood at US$22.7 trillion (US$1=RM4.06) in 2014, represents almost 30 per cent of the global economy.

Jeyaretnam said Dentons already has a strong presence in Singapore and Myanmar, and establishing a presence in Malaysia and Indonesia formed part of its strategy to tap into the region's fast-growing and dynamic economies.

It enables us to better provide clients with seamless access to business opportunities across all ASEAN countries, said Jeyaretnam, who is the first CEO of Dentons ASEAN Region.

Asked on any opportunities for Dentons from stronger regional economic integration in ASEAN, Jeyaretnam said the ASEAN Economic Community holds some promise in terms of bringing down barriers.

We hope there will be some changes in the services side as well, he said.

Jeyaretnam said ASEAN is not as harmonised as the European Union or countries which shared a common legal structure, noting that the legal traditions and cultures in ASEAN are very diverse, but at the same time, efforts are being made to bring some degree of harmonisation for regulators to work together.

It is still a work in progress where some countries are much closer to one another in terms of a wider periphery.

In Singapore, we have a great deal of influence in terms of regulatory philosophy on Brunei. We can see that Myanmar looks to Singapore for many of the commercial aspects of reforms. And possibly, Malaysia and Singapore are also quite similar.

But on a broader level of harmonisation, it is going to take time. It is not a single market of 600 million people, he added.--NNN-BERNAMA

Source: NAM News Network