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Thursday November 22, 2012

EU confident trade with Malaysia will grow

<B>Vandebon:</B> ‘One good thing that came
out of the crisis is that we know what went wrong.’ Vandebon: ‘One good thing that came out of the crisis is that we know what went wrong.’

GEORGE TOWN: The European Union (EU) is confident that bilateral trade and investments from EU into Malaysia will grow in the next couple of years despite the current global economic crisis.

This is because EU’s gross domestic product is expected to grow 0.4% in 2013 and 1.6% in 2014, compared with a projected contraction of 0.3% this year.

EU ambassador Luc Vandebon said bilateral trade and investments from EU will grow when the EU’s economy picks up again.

He said the EU free trade agreement with Malaysia, which is in its seventh round of discussion, which was expected to be concluded next year, would help stimulate growth.

“We have tackled fundamental economic problems and put in place a supervising banking mechanism to prevent things from going off track again.

“One good thing that came out of the crisis is that we know what went wrong and we can now try to prevent similar ocurrences in the future,” he said at a press conference after a trade and investment forum organised by investPenang.

Also present was investPenang executive committee chairman Datuk Simon Wong.

Bilateral trade between EU and Malaysia registered some 32.9 billion euros last year with goods and services worth about 14.9 billion euros exported to Malaysia.

Imports of goods and services from Malaysia were worth about 18 billion euros.

Foreign direct investments from the EU was about 1.3 billion euros annually since 2006 with the bulk going to Penang.

There are 2,000 EU companies in Malaysia presently.

“Though things are bad in Europe, it is not a catastrophe,” he said, adding that the EU, with 27 member states, is still the world’s largest single economy.

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