Germany welcomes Anwar on maiden visit, fostering economic cooperation and mutual growth - MIDA | Malaysian Investment Development Authority
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Germany welcomes Anwar on maiden visit, fostering economic cooperation and mutual growth

Germany welcomes Anwar on maiden visit, fostering economic cooperation and mutual growth

10 Mar 2024

An enduring friendship built on strong economic ties and mutual respect, with a keen eye on the future, will set the tone for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s first official visit as prime minister to Germany today.

After concluding a successful tour of Melbourne and Canberra, where Australian companies expressed interest in investing RM24.5 billion in Malaysia, the prime minister will now train his sight on German investors, both new as well as those already with a presence in Malaysia, as part of his visit to Berlin and Hamburg.

Malaysian Ambassador to Germany, Datin Paduka Dr Adina Kamarudin, said the prime minister’s intensive six-day itinerary will see him meet senior German leadership, captains of industry, academics and policymakers as well as the Malaysian diaspora.

The prime minister is scheduled to arrive in Berlin Brandenburg Airport at 10pm on March 10, where he will be welcomed upon arrival by Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, Adina as well as German government representatives.

Apart from Mohamad, also accompanying him for his visit are International Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz, Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Datuk Ewon Benedick.

Adina said the prime minister will begin his series of programmes on March 11 with a visit to the Siemens Energy plant in Berlin. Siemens, she said, had invested heavily in Malaysia and is currently focusing on renewable energy.

This will be followed by a courtesy visit to Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at Bellevue Palace, who in February last year had visited Malaysia.

Steinmeier, in his visit, had stated that Malaysia is set to become a key destination for German companies to diversify their businesses and investments, with more than 700 German companies in Malaysia creating 65,000 jobs.

“This can, in a way, be viewed as a furtherance of the discussion that they had previously. President Steinmeyer is known for his deep interest in Malaysia and enjoys a keen friendship with the prime minister, evidenced from his visit to the prime minister’s office in Putrajaya during his visit to Malaysia,” she said.

Later in the evening, Anwar will be accorded an official welcome with full military honours by Chancellor Olaf Scholz at the Federal Chancellery, followed by a four-eyed meeting with Scholz.

The two leaders will hold a joint press conference with Malaysian and German media before attending a dinner hosted by Scholz.

The following day, Anwar will attend a business roundtable meeting with around 30 captains of industry, followed by a business meeting with selected companies.

These captains of industry, she said, comprise significant players in the German economy, and key investors to Malaysia.

Adina said the business meeting with selected companies, meanwhile, include major names such as Infineon, Schott AG, Melexis and Airbus, which are significant for possible investments in the future.

In the evening, the prime minister will then hold a session with the Malaysian diaspora in Germany, which will include students, working professionals as well as those who have chosen to settle down in Germany.

After the breaking of fast and Maghrib prayers, the prime minister will then join the congregation at the Sehitlik Mosque in Berlin for Isyak and Tarawih prayers. Anwar will then engage with the German Muslim community for an exchange of views.

The following day, Anwar will begin his programme with an interactive session at the Körber Foundation in Berlin, an independent, non-profit think tank which focuses on international relations including issues pertaining to the Middle East.

He will then meet with German vice-chancellor Robert Habeck before attending the Mittlestand, also known as SME Future Day, an annual small-medium enterprises conference where the prime minister will also be delivering a keynote address.

Adina said Anwar’s meeting with Habeck, who is also Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, will likely see the leaders discuss issues such as Malaysia’s palm oil export to Europe and climate change.

Adina said the German economy is unique in that it does not rely heavily on multinational companies (MNCs), with its main driver being the Mittlestand, or SMEs.

“However, the size of their SMEs is on a scale vastly different than that of Malaysian companies. Their request for the prime minister’s presence at this event was done way back in July,” she said, noting that the Mittlestand offers key investment opportunities for Malaysia.

Adina said German companies have a favourable view of Malaysia due to a host of factors, such as the various incentives offered, especially customised tax incentives and the supporting role played by agencies like the Malaysia Investment Development Authority or MIDA.

“They are very comfortable with our One Stop Centre. There is also the ease of doing business with agencies such AS MIDA, with the Immigration Department providing the necessary support, as well as the English-speaking population,” she said.

In Hamburg, Anwar will attend Friday prayers at the El Nour Mosque before conducting a business meeting with Nexperia. He will then attend the 101st East Asia Friendship Dinner (Ostasiatisches Liebesmahl) by the German Asia-Pacific Business Association (Ostasiatische Verein – OAV) before departing for Kuala Lumpur.

Germany has been Malaysia’s largest trading partner among European Union members since 2000, while Malaysia is Germany’s biggest trading partner in Asean.

In 2023, Malaysia’s total trade with Germany rose by 5.9 per cent to RM63.45 billion (US$13.90 billion) compared to RM59.87 billion (US$13.62 billion) in 2022.

Source: NST