Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria

Secretary-General, Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia

Political is the key to achieving ASEAN Economic Community


If there’s one criticism about ASEAN is that we do not move fast enough. If you look at what we’ve achieved over the years, it is still commendable. I wrote about this some months earlier, about whether or not the AEC is a myth or a reality. Are we really fooling ourselves? Can we really get to this economic community that we want? In 2006 Malaysia was in the chair for the ASEAN Economic Pillar & because it was a decision, I’m sure Keng Yong will give you some history, because it was a decision to move forward the process of economic integration to 2015. Earlier, it was decided 2020. We were in the chair & we had to draft the blueprint.


About Rebecca Fatima Sta. Maria
Rebecca Fatima Sta. Maria, is the Secretary General of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI). Prior to this appointment, she was the MITI Deputy Secretary General of Trade. In this capacity, she was involved in handling trade related matters of the Ministry, including administering Malaysia’s interests under bilateral and regional Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), as well as Malaysia’s engagements in various international organisations such as ASEAN, APEC and WTO. She also served at various divisions in MITI namely, Senior Director of the Investment Policy Division, Director of the Investment Policy and Manufacturing Related Services Division and Director of the Strategic Planning Division. Prior to her appointment to MITI she served as the Senior Project Coordinator at the Leadership Centre, National Institute of Public Administration (INTAN). She began her career in the Administrative and Diplomatic Service in 1981 and served in various capacities in the then Ministry of Trade and Industry. In 1988 she was seconded to the ASEAN Plant Quarantine and Training Centre as its Chief Administration and Procurement Officer. She is married and has a 19 year old daughter, Raisa Menon.


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