He said Malaysia’s trade with North Korea amounted to RM22.72mil in 2015, of which exports were RM17.54mil and imports at RM5.18mil.
Dzulkifli said 18 North Korean companies would take part in the showcase, which would be held from Dec 8 to 11 in Kuala Lumpur.
“The showcase will help facilitate trade and investments as well as establish new business relationships,” he said at a media briefing in Kuala Lumpur on Friday.
He said Matrade expected to see an increase in participation from the North Korean companies at this year’s showcase compared to four in 2015.
“North Korea is now looking at using Malaysia as a gateway to South-East Asian markets as it finds the country business-friendly with pro-business policies,” he said.
Of late, North Korean has been active in participating in trade fair overseas to promote its products and Malaysia was its first stop in South-East Asia countries, he said.
“Our relationship with North Korea has been growing positively for the past few years. There are still a lot of uncharted areas that both nations can explore for the benefit of our trade and economy as a whole,” he said.
He said North Korea imported refined oil, natural rubber and palm oil from Malaysia and Malaysia had sourced electrical and electronic products, chemicals and chemicals products, iron and steel products from North Korea.
The IBS 2016 is an international trade fair organised by ES Event Management Sdn Bhd, with 350 participating companies from Malaysia, China, Indonesia, Taiwan, North Korea and other Asean countries.
Among the products showcased are cosmetics, soap, food products, health food medicines, gemstones and clothes and shoes. - Bernama