MALAYSIA will ship 5,000 Proton cars to Iraq and is in talks to participate in oil and gas projects, despite growing fears of a US-led war against President Saddam Hussein's regime, said Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz.
The International Trade and Industry Minister said yesterday that state oil firm Petronas was negotiating to participate in Ratawi oil field development, Block 2 exploration in the Western Desert and the Iraq-Turkey gas export project.
Discussion is ongoing, she told reporters after meeting visiting Iraqi Industry and Minerals Minister Maissar Rija Shlah.
Rafidah also said Malaysia's national carmaker Proton would ship 5,000 units of its 1.5 litre Wira sedan to Iraq by August this year following an international tender.
She said Proton clinched the contract after beating car makers such as Nissan, Toyota and Peugeot. Proton had in 2000 won an inaugural contract to supply 1,500 cars to Iraq.
Malaysia-Iraqi trade is virtually a one-sided affair, with Malaysia exporting US$66.8mil worth of goods in the first 10 months of last year and importing almost nothing.
Among the top export items were electrical switcher relays and circuits, machinery parts, data processing equipment and inorganic chemicals. Reuters
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