M’sia and Turkiye finalising discussions on currency swap deal, says Saifuddin

KUALA LUMPUR: The central banks of both Malaysia and Turkiye are currently finalising talks on a potential currency swap, said Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah.

“On the currency swap, we are working to expedite the signing of the Malaysia-Turkiye Free Trade Agreement (MTFTA) and also for both central banks to expedite the conclusion of the discussion on the currency swap within the parameters of the financial sphere,” said Saifuddin.

A currency swap is an agreement whereby two countries agree to exchange a given amount of currency at an agreed upon interest rate and a common maturity date for the exchange.

Turkey has currency swap deals with China, Qatar and South Korea worth about US$23bil and Turkiye inked an almost US$5bil swap deal with the United Arab Emirates in January.

Saifuddin also said Malaysia and Turkiye had enjoyed positive economic growth since both countries signed the MTFTA in Aug 2015 and talks are being finalised to expand the free trade agreement.

“The expansion of the MTFTA will cover new areas such as investment, services and e-commerce,” said Saifuddin, who was speaking alongside his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu during a press conference in Parliament on Thursday (Aug 4) afternoon.

Saifuddin also said both Malaysia and Turkiye has agreed that new potential ares of investments should be explored, particularly digital economy, as well as the military and defence industry.

Meanwhile, Saifuddin said he and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob spoke about the Malaysian Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) further participation in the Istanbul International Airport, as well as food security, due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict

Saifuddin also said there is talk of more cooperation between Malaysian and Turkiye Muslim scholars, particularly those specialising in social sciences.

“We are really looking forward to working much closer, between the two of us foreign ministers and other ministers, so relations between the two brotherly countries can be enhanced in the coming years,” added Saifuddin.

Saifuddin’s counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu then added at the press conference that Malaysia is a key actor in the Asean region, saying that Turkiye was looking forward to Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa’s official visit in mid-August.

He said Malaysia is Turkiye’s biggest trading partner in Asean and added said that the trade volume has grown by approximately 50% or US$2.42bil in the first half of this year.

Cavusoglu said there was a target of achieving a US$5bil growth between Malaysia and Turkiye by the end of the year.

“It appears that this target is achievable this year and obviously, we need to work for a more balanced trade and we will do our best,” said Cavusoglu

“We hope to expand and deepen our cooperation in the coming period based on the comprehensive strategic partnership (CSP),” he added.

During Ismail Sabri’s official visit to Turkiye last month, bilateral relations between the two countries was upgraded to the CSP level.

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