June 13, 2019
KUALA LUMPUR – International Trade and Industry Minister, Datuk Darell Leiking had recently hosted a round table dialogue with the African Heads of Mission to Malaysia at MITI Tower as part of MITI’s continuous effort to enhance Malaysia’s trade and investment performance with global economies.
Led by the dean of the African Ambassadors, H.E. Cuthbert Zhakata who was also the ambassador of Zimbabwe, the African delegation comprised of 21 officials including 14 ambassadors and high commissioners of Algeria, Egypt, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Namibia, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe as well as embassy senior officials from Guinea, Morocco, Nigeria and Tanzania.
Also present were MITI Deputy Minister, Dr Ong Kian Ming as well as heads of agency and senior officials of MITI, Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii), InvestKL and EXIM Bank.
Both sides acknowledged the diverse opportunities in African region to be tapped by Malaysia and vice versa.
Both sides also agreed that focused and strategic trade and investment promotion activities were vital to ensure substantial outcomes through tripartite collaborations among the embassies, private sector and government.
Among the potential areas were automotive component and parts, building materials, infrastructure concessions including highways, ports, public housing and government buildings, ICT, agriculture and halal industry.
“We need to re-engage with Africa as it is an emerging market and it promises a huge prospect for Malaysian investors,” said Leiking.
He further expressed his hope for the rejuvenation of the South-South Cooperation particularly in the areas of trade and investment.
He also welcomed the mooted Africa-Malaysia Business Forum in 2019 which was to be led by the African side.
In 2018, total trade with Africa amounted to RM31.38 billion, with exports to Africa at RM18.97 billion while imports were recorded at RM12.41 billion.
Malaysia’s top exports to Africa were palm oil and palm-based agriculture products, processed food, petroleum products, machinery, equipment & parts and electrical & electronics.
On the other hand, Malaysia’s top imports from Africa were crude petroleum, metalliferous ores and metal scrap, natural rubber and iron and steel products. -Bernama