The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) welcomes a proposal by France’s MEDEF International to ink a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to strengthen economic relations between both nations.
International Trade and Industry deputy minister Datuk Lim Ban Hong said the MoU will make MIDA the single point of contact for its members to gather information pertaining to Malaysia’s economic development.
“Malaysia sees great value in engaging with trading partners through bilateral and regional Free Trade Agreements (FTAs),” he said in a statement.
Last year, France was Malaysia’s 18th largest global trading partner and its third-largest trading partner among the European Union member states (including the United Kingdom), he added.
On Sept 4, MEDEF International, the Embassy of Malaysia in Paris, and MIDA, an agency under the International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) organised a webinar to update French business stakeholders with Malaysia’s progress in mitigating the economic impact of COVID-19 to Malaysian industries.
More than 30 participants, mostly representatives from French companies operating in France and Southeast Asia, participated in the webinar.
“Seeing the enthusiastic turnout in the webinar, I am glad that French companies continue to have confidence in Malaysia as their preferred investment destination in this region,” Lim said in his opening address.
The economic ties between the two countries have flourished over the years due to solid diplomatic foundations laid by respective leaders of each country, he said, adding, “This is evident through the increasing number of French companies investing in Malaysia”.
As of last December, a total of 126 manufacturing projects with French participation have been implemented with total investments of RM4.36 billion, creating 10,913 potential employment.
During the webinar, MIDA deputy chief executive officer Arham Abdul Rahman highlighted France as an important trading partner.
“France has had a long presence in Malaysia’s manufacturing and services sector.
“Recognising the French innovative capabilities, we welcome more investments in areas of transport equipment (aerospace), ICT, pharmaceutical, scientific and measuring equipment, electrical and electronics, food, chemical and chemical products, as well as machinery and equipment,” he said.
French Ambassador to Malaysia Frédéric Laplanche told participants of the webinar that Malaysia was among the exemplary nation that had managed the COVID-19 pandemic well.
“With the travel and movement restrictions in place, the French business community is urged to remain hopeful and continue exploring new opportunities in Malaysia.
“Over the past few years, we have seen an increase in new French investments and expansions in the country, a spectacular trend that continues to date,” he said.
He was encouraged to see Malaysia and France showcasing the same ambitions and fervour to elevate the relationship of both nations further.
“Given Malaysia’s open trade and business-friendly policies, there are potential opportunities for business communities to tap on in this new norm,” he added.