TOTAL trade between Germany and Malaysia is projected to increase between 3% and 4.5% this year, contributed by the machinery, education, medical and pharmaceutical equipment as well as chemical and raw material industries.
Last year, total trade for both countries amounted to about RM8bil, Malaysian-German Cham- ber of Commerce and Industry (MGCC) executive director Dr Rainer Herret said.
“Early this year, we felt the impact of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome outbreak and our businesses during the first 6 months were affected,” he said after the MGCC AGM on Monday.
Herret said that judging from the recent trade enquiries received in Germany, trade and investments would pick up from the 2nd half of this year.
“We can expect more trade from Germany into Malaysia because of the strong euro. The pick up in trade would predominantly be in the electronics sector due to the Malaysian government's move to diversify and explore new markets, especially Europe.''
Herret said the government's economic package was “certainly a boost to Malaysian-German trade relations in particular.''
“We expect to see more investments flowing from Germany into Malaysia as the cost of doing business here (in Malaysia) is relatively affordable due to the strong euro,'' he added.
He said Malaysia should promote tourism to Germany as awareness of Malaysia among the Germans was low.
“We are trying to arrive at a cultural co-operation agreement between Malaysia and Germany to boost the local education system, especially in the study of engineering and machinery,'' Herret said, adding that he expected to see an increase in education collaboration between German and local schools.
German companies in Malaysia are in industries such as machineries, automotive, medical and pharmaceutical equipment, chemicals and raw materials. These companies account for a 26% market share of the local machinery segment and below 8% in automotive.
Herret said German companies' share of the local automotive industry would increase to 12% next year.