BILATERAL trade between Malaysia and Taiwan rose 2.4% to more than US$2.4bil in the first four months of this year.
Total exports from Taiwan to Malaysia fell 5.7% while exports from Malaysia to Taiwan increased by 8.5% from January to April this year compared with the same period last year, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office representative in Malaysia, Wayne W. Wu said.
“Malaysia enjoyed a trade surplus of about US$1bil last year.
“I expect this figure to increase for 2003 since the surplus from January to April this year already stands at US$600mil (RM2.3bil),” he said at the opening of the 7th National Committee Meeting of the Taipei Investors’ Association in Malaysia (TIAM) in Ipoh on Saturday.
On measures to weather the effects of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak and other world political and economic uncertainties, Wu said Taiwanese investors in China and South-East Asia needed to look seriously into risk management.
“Investors should reconsider running all their operations in a single country.
“They should instead spread out their operations to minimise the risk of having to stop production entirely,” he added.
On Taiwanese investors who have pulled out of Malaysia and moved their entire operations to China due to lower costs, Wu said the number was minimal.
“We do not really see them moving out entirely to China but merely expanding their operations there, especially those who need more manpower,” he said.
Earlier, Wu and TIAM national president Dr Frank S. Lee led a business delegation to meet with Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohd Tajol Rosli Ghazali.
According to Lee, the state government had taken good care of its Taiwanese investors by offering various incentives such as cheap land and labour costs, and its readiness to help them resolve their problems.
“This has definitely created interest among those in other states to visit Perak to look at its investment environment,” he said, adding that Tajol Rosli was in favour of visiting Taiwan to meet with potential investors in the second half of the year.
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