CANADA and Malaysia should look for ways to enhance bilateral trade although both countries are not major trading partners, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz said.
She said Canada constituted 0.52% of Malaysia's global trade in 2002 although trade between both countries had been growing consistently over the past few years.
Malaysia's exports to Canada have grown to RM2.15bil in 2002 from RM618.31mil in 1990 while imports rose to RM1.26bil from RM765.9, Rafidah said.
She said this at the Malaysian Canada Business Council's (MCBC) Business Excellence Awards 2003 presentation on Thursday.
The minister also said that in the first four months of this year, Malaysia's trade with Canada stood at RM1.114bil while exports to that country amounted to RM666.82mil.
She urged the council to conduct information collaboration and dissemination on Malaysia and the business environment here.
This would allow Malaysia to be seen in its true light by potential investors and business partners, she said.
It is also hoped that the council could serve to encourage investors from Canada to make Malaysia their regional manufacturing and export base as well as their centre for a variety of business activities, Rafidah added.
According to MCBC president Roger Poulin, the council is a non-profitable organisation that provides a forum and networking opportunities to promote trade and investments between Canada and Malaysia.
The council has chosen Sapura group president and chief executive officer Datuk Shahril Shamsuddin as its Entrepreneur of The Year.
Meanwhile, Sedaya International College has been named The Company of The Year and The Regent Kuala Lumpur The Good Corporate Citizen of The Year.
The councils Jean C. McCloskey Award for exceptional individuals who have the spirit and drive for success was given to Teleglobe International Corp managing director Manirajah Kulanthavelu.
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