Many trade ministers seeking meeting with Miti after Germany mission, says PM

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is emerging as an interesting trade and investment hub in the region following its successful trade mission to Germany recently, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

According to Anwar, many trade ministers from abroad are meeting with the Investment, Trade and Industry (Miti) Ministry in the coming weeks.

“There was a spike in the attendance (of trade ministers). This week alone, Miti received up to three trade ministers who came asking to expedite the free trade agreement with the European Union,” said Anwar, who did not name any names.

Anwar said Germany has introduced a “de-risk” foreign policy as it seeks to reduce dependency on a sole country.

“Therefore, Germany chose Malaysia as a hub, aside from having trade and export in China,” said Anwar during Prime Minister’s Question Time (PMQT) in Parliament on Tuesday (March 26).

According to reports, Germany is still reeling from the effects of high energy prices after Russia curbed natural gas supplies to Europe in 2021 and 2022.

It was also reported that the Russia-Ukraine war has led to the biggest decline in German living standards since the Second World War.

At the same time, Anwar also said Malaysia has been welcomed by the Arab countries, such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

“There is an increase in investments particularly from UAE and Saudi Arabia, that was twice more than the previous year,” said Anwar.

Anwar said it is important for Malaysia to focus on artificial intelligence, engineering, TVET, math and science, as well as skills training.

“We are able to make it if we are focussing on these areas and if we give the adequate additional allocations,” added Anwar.

Earlier, Anwar said it was political stability and clear economic agendas that made Malaysia stand out as a crucial investment and trading hub.

“There is clarity among domestic and foreign investors, We have a clear plan on the industrial sector, food security as well as energy transition and digital transformation.

“So, before they met us, they knew about our economic framework,” said Anwar.

Anwar said that it is important to ensure efficiency and speed when giving approvals to investments.

“There are those who said there was too much bureaucracy in administration. That is why at the federal level, we are focussing on one agency under Miti to coordinate (trade and investment),” added Anwar.

Anwar was responding to a supplementary question by Jimmy Puah (PH-Tebrau) who asked whether Malaysia is able to capitalize on the global trade war between US and China.

Anwar’s official visit to Germany from March 10 to 15 had secured potential investments worth RM45.4bil from various industries such as semiconductors, aerospace, medical devices, chemicals and services.

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