Austrian firms keen on M’sia


  • Business
  • Friday, 04 Jul 2003

BY P.W.THONG IN PUTRAJAYA

MALAYSIA is among the most promising investment destinations for Austrian companies that wish to invest in this region, Austria Finance Minister Karl-Heinz Grasser said. 

Grasser, who paid a courtesy visit to Second Finance Minister Datuk Dr Jamaludin Mohd Jarjis in Putrajaya on Wednesday, told reporters that many Austrian companies were looking to invest in Asia after Eastern Europe. 

“I think the Malaysian story of growth over the last 30 years is remarkable,'' he said, adding that some Austrian companies which had invested in the region, such as in Indonesia, were also considering shifting their operations to Malaysia. 

“Austrian firms have invested about 1.5 billion euros in Indonesia since the 1990s and many have not been very successful there. As such, many are opting to shift out of there, to Malaysia, Thailand and China. We think Malaysia can be the gateway to Asia for many of these Austrian firms, '' Grasser said. 

He said some Austrian companies currently based in Malaysia had identified opportunities in the infrastructure and construction sectors. 

Meanwhile, Jamaludin said Malaysia was also exploring the possibility of establishing bilateral trade and financial arrangement with Austria. 

“We have already instituted bilateral payments and trade arrangements with other countries, and we are now looking into similar arrangements with Austria to increase trade between our countries. 

“Austria has a wonderful position, in that not only is it the gateway to Western Europe but also Eastern Europe, where many Austrian companies have established a presence,” he said. 

Bilateral trade between Malaysia and Austria has doubled since 1998 to 577 million euros last year, and is in Malaysia's favour. 

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