Malaysia, Russia discuss measures to strengthen relations in industry and trade, says MITI
27 May 2021
Malaysia and Russia recently discussed the way forward in strengthening bilateral economic relations through the inaugural meeting of the Working Group on Cooperation in Industry and Trade under the framework of the Joint Malaysia-Russia Commission for Economic, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Cooperation.
The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) said the plenary session of the meeting which took place virtually on May 25, 2021, was co-chaired by its secretary-general Datuk Lokman Hakim Ali, who led the Malaysian delegation, with Russian Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Aleksei Gruzdev, leading the Russian delegation.
“The working group meeting aimed to identify areas of mutual interest and measures to increase the amount and diversification of bilateral trade and industrial cooperation between both countries.
“The meeting registered more than 450 participants from various sectors including the government and private sectors as well as industry players from Malaysia and the Russian Federation,” Miti said in a statement today.
The meeting was also attended by both the Malaysian and Russian ambassadors, Datuk Bala Chandran Tharman and Naiyl M. Latypov.
In his opening remarks, Lokman underscored Malaysia’s commitment in strengthening the bilateral linkages with the Russian Federation and the need for both countries to develop solid, overarching strategies and initiatives in achieving a long-term and sustainable cooperation.
“While both governments will offer support as enablers and facilitators, I must stress that it is the industry that assumes a significant role in the overall ecosystem of trade and industry — after all, it is the private sector players who will be key to strengthening our economic, trade and investment collaboration,” he added.
Lokman also urged the Russian companies to leverage on Malaysia’s strategic location in the heart of South-East Asia and the newly reformed investment agenda, the National Investment Aspirations for the promising ventures in Malaysia.
The working group meeting identified eight areas of cooperation under this renewed chapter for bilateral trade, investment and industrial collaboration, namely aerospace; pharmaceutical and medical equipment; shipbuilding; innovation and IT technologies; oil and gas; chemical and power engineering equipment; commodities; halal; and food safety.
According to the ministry, expert consultations on all the areas of cooperation were held prior to the meeting in which both co-chairs noted the productive outcomes and strongly encouraged the parties to continue the consultations in the respective areas of cooperation to ensure effective follow-up and implementation of the results of the discussion.
Russia has been Malaysia’s top 30 trading partner globally for the past eight years and Malaysia’s largest trading partner, exports destination and source of imports among the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
For the first quarter of 2021, Malaysia’s total trade with Russia increased by 0.3 per cent to RM1.72 billion compared to the corresponding period of 2020.
Total exports increased by 40.4 per cent to RM1.01 billion mainly due to the rising demand for rubber products. Total imports decreased by 28.7 per cent to RM0.71 billion contributed by decline in imports of petroleum products and crude petroleum.
On the investment front, Malaysia registered a total of eight manufacturing projects with Russian participation which have been implemented worth RM128.32 million and creating 408 jobs.