M’sia-Africa bilateral trade to grow 4% to 5% in 2016


  • Economy
  • Friday, 22 Jan 2016

KUALA LUMPUR: Bilateral trade between Malaysia and Africa is expected to grow about 4% to 5% this year.

Malaysia External Trade Development Corp (Matrade) chief executive officer Datuk Dzulkifli Mahmud said he was confident that the growth could be achieved given that the two-way trade between both countries has been growing at a gradual pace over the previous years.

In the first 11 months of 2015, Malaysia’s trade with Africa rose by 3.2% year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM27.5bil from RM26.6bil previously.

Total bilateral trade between the two countries amounted to RM29.4bil in 2014 against RM26.6bil in 2013.

Dzulkifli said this at a press conference after receiving 15 delegates from Senegal, West Africa, in Kuala Lumpur on Friday.

In terms of exports, he said as of November last year, Malaysia’s exports to Africa grew by 6.7% to RM18.9bil compared to the corresponding period in 2014.

Total exports to Africa increased by 11% y-o-y to RM19.5bil in 2014.

By industry, palm oil and palm-based products accounted for the biggest export share at 32.2% of total exports to Africa for the January-November 2015 period, he said.

“This was followed by petroleum products (24.4%), chemical and chemical products (7.4%), processed food (7.1%) and so on,” he said.

Dzulkifli also encouraged more Malaysian companies especially the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to grab the opportunities to venture into the African market, particularly in health tourism, education and franchising sectors.

To facilitate business networking between Malaysian and African entrepreneurs, Matrade will organise a series of seminars, forums and exhibitions this year to provide platforms to industry players to better understand the opportunities there.

Meanwhile, Ambassador of Senegal to Malaysia, Adrienne Diop, hoped Malaysian enterprises could share their success stories and expertise with the country.

“We want to strengthen our ties with Malaysia, and we hope companies involve in sectors such as oil and gas, automotive and agriculture could share their experiences with us,” she said.

Both Diop and Dzulkifli believed now is the best time to venture into Aftican region.

Also present were Matrade director of lifestyle section Abu Bakar Yusof and Probase Manufacturing Sdn Bhd managing director Seow Cheng Soon. - Bernama


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