The Malaysian Minister for International Trade and Industry, Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, is visiting Europe this week to discuss the details of a possible free trade deal between the Asian nation and the EU, beginning in 2012. The EU is the world’s second largest economy representing a huge market for the manufacture and raw materials of Malaysia. The minister will meet trade delegations from Italy, Norway and Sweden.
Swedish Minister for Trade Ewa Björling, who will meet Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed on Wednesday 28th September 2011, said of the opportunity:
“Malaysia is an important Asian partner and we have seen increased interest in Malaysia among Swedish companies. We also note that Swedish tourism to Malaysia is increasing.
“Our ambition is to be able to conclude the negotiations between the EU and Malaysia on a free trade agreement in 2012 as planned. A free trade agreement will help strengthen the already good relations between the EU and Malaysia.”
Italy, Sweden and Norway account for 9.9% of Malaysian trade with Western Europe. In 2010, investment projects in Malaysia by these countries amounted to RM2.6 billion (€ 613.2 million).
Italy was Malaysia’s 5th largest trading partner in the EU in 2010, with total trade amounting to RM 8 billion (€1.9 billion). Among EU countries, Sweden was Malaysia’s 8th largest trading partner in 2010, with total trade amounting to RM 3.28 billion (€0.77 billion). Among the four European Free Trade Association (EFTA) member states, Malaysia’s trade with Norway in 2010 is the second highest at 18.5% or RM961.8 million (€226.8 million).
During the visit, Malaysia is hoping to attract investment in ICT, renewable energy, industrial technology, oil and gas, food processing, healthcare, chemical industries, telecommunications as well as machinery and equipment.