MIDA in collaboration with MEDEF International and the Embassy of Malaysia in Paris organised a webinar on 4 September 2020 to share on Malaysia’s situational progress and post-COVID-19 updates with the French business stakeholders. Established since 1998, MEDEF, the Movement of Enterprises of France, is the largest employer federation in France.
YB Datuk Lim Ban Hong, Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI) hosted the event and in his welcoming remarks highlighted that “Malaysia sees great value in engaging its trading partners through bilateral and regional Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). This places Malaysia as an attractive hub for French ASEAN operations”.
Mr. Arham Abdul Rahman, Deputy Chief Executive Officer I of MIDA added during the session that “France is one of the important trading partners and source of investments for Malaysia. It has had a long presence in the country’s manufacturing and services sectors”.
France is Malaysia’s 18th largest global trading partner and 3rd largest trading partner among the European Union member states (including the United Kingdom). As at 2019, a total of 126 manufacturing projects with French participation have been implemented with total investments of RM4.36 billion (USD1.31 billion), creating a total of 10,913 potential employment.
Malaysian Ambassador to France, H.E. Dato’ Dr. Azfar Mohamad Mustafar and the French Ambassador to Malaysia, H.E Frédéric Laplanche also joined the live webinar and delivered their remarks. Mr. Frédéric urged the French business community to remain hopeful and continue exploring new opportunities in Malaysia.
The economic ties between the two countries flourished over the years due to the solid diplomatic foundations laid by respective leaders of each country. This is evident through the increasing number of French companies investing in Malaysia. More than 200 French companies have established their operations in Malaysia. The nation is proud to host 30 out of the 40 top French companies listed on the main French index of NYSE Euronext. Notable companies with French interests operating here include ST Microelectronics, Arkema, Airbus, Safran, Saint-Gobain, Air Liquide, Monin, Technip FMC and Decathlon.
Recognising the French innovative capabilities, more investments are welcomed in the areas of transport equipment (aerospace), ICT, pharmaceutical, scientific and measuring equipment, electrical and electronics, food, chemical and chemical products and machinery and equipment. As the principal investment promotion agency of the country under MITI, MIDA will continue to facilitate local and global businesses and promote Malaysia as the preferred investment destination in the region.
Moving forward MEDEF International plans to ink an MOU with MIDA for future collaborations and to strengthen economic relations between France and Malaysia. MIDA remains as the single point of contact for its members with regards to economic development in Malaysia.