Malaysia and Egypt see significant prospects for greater palm oil market expansion through joint-ventures with local Egyptian companies in technological transfer, expertise and capital, said Senior Minister and International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.
He also called upon all business leaders and corporate captains, industry movers and shakers to seize the opportunities and further expand the Malaysia-Egypt bilateral trade and business collaboration to the next level.
“Last year, Egypt remained our largest trading partner in the North Africa region and has been among Malaysia’s top six largest trading partners in Africa.
“Bilateral trade increased by 84.4% to nearly US$1 billion (US$1=RM4.20) compared to 2020,” he said in his opening remarks during the Networking Dinner on the occasion of the working visit by Egypt's Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Hassan Shoukry to Malaysia here on Monday (March 14) night.
Mohamed Azmin further said that the increase of Malaysia’s exports was largely due to heightened demand for Malaysian palm oil and palm-based agriculture products, while the increase in imports was due to increased demand for Egyptian fruits and petroleum products.
Sameh Hassan is on a three-day inaugural visit to Malaysia starting Monday to build on the prevailing robust ties between both countries, besides reflecting mutual resolve to elevate partnerships.
As for investment in Egypt, Mohamed Azmin said Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) has invested more than US$9.0 billion since 2003, while Proton has made its mark with models such as Exora and the Saga variants on Egyptian roads.
“Indeed, Malaysia is appreciative of the opportunities accorded to our investors to participate in Egypt’s oil and gas sector and automotive market,” he said.
He also stressed on the importance of bilateral relations between both countries and the need to maximise their full potential, specifically on economic and trade ties, in which both Malaysia and Egypt have agreed that a proper platform such as the Joint Trade and Investment Committee could serve as an effective mechanism to facilitate trade and investment.
Meanwhile, Sameh Hassan has also expressed the interest to further develop trade and investment relations, while paving the way for business communities to enhance their commercial and investment ties.
”I am also pleased to know that the Egypt-Malaysia Business Council will soon be reactivated and hence resumes its vital role in highlighting the immense business potential between our two countries,” he said.
He pointed out that Malaysia’s success story in industry and technological development would continue to be an inspiration to Egypt, as well as for many other developing countries.
“We look at the Malaysian experiment with great respect, including by studying how Malaysia is aiming to cope with the Fourth Industrial Revolution and to adopt advanced technologies,” he said.
The networking dinner was also attended by Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Lim Ban Hong, and Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar.