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Malaysia-UK trade, investment ties enhanced via formation of joint committee

Malaysia-UK trade, investment ties enhanced via formation of joint committee

25 Nov 2020

Malaysia and the United Kingdom (UK) achieved a milestone in their bilateral relations with the inception of a Joint Committee on Bilateral Trade and Investment Cooperation (JCBTIC), as a platform to strengthen bilateral trade and investment ties between the two nations.

Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) deputy secretary-general (trade) Hairil Yahri Yaacob said the JCBTIC meeting had successfully created a common framework for renewed bilateral ties and endorsed a few key areas of cooperation including education; standard and conformity assessment; Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) development; halal industry and legal services; among others.

“The Joint Committee provides the pathway and opens more doors for Government-to-Government level discussion so more businesses from both our countries can strengthen their partnerships as well as establish new joint-ventures,” he said in a statement today.

He said the Joint Committee was timely to discuss the enhancement of trade and investment cooperation and to facilitate cross-border businesses, given the current context not only due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but also with UK being a single market and the need to explore areas of opportunities from the recent signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement,” he said.

In addition, through the respective Working Groups, representatives from both countries will deliberate on the proposals and recommendations to boost business collaborations and engagements between industry players from Malaysia and the UK.

The UK is Malaysia’s 19th largest trading partner globally, 18th export destination and 19th import source. In 2019, Malaysia’s total trade with the UK increased by 5.3% to RM16.45 billion compared with 2018.

For the first nine months of this year, total trade with the UK dropped by 2.6% to RM11.9 billion compared with the corresponding period in 2019 due to the challenges posed by the pandemic.

On the investment front, the UK is the ninth largest foreign investor in Malaysia with a total of 467 manufacturing projects implemented with UK participation worth RM10.16 billion, creating 39,338 jobs.

Meanwhile, the JCBTIC’s inaugural meeting was held virtually yesterday led by Hairil and co-chaired by Natalie Black, Her Majesty’s trade commissioner for Asia Pacific, Department for International Trade of the UK.

The meeting was also attended by the British High Commissioner to Malaysia, Charles Hay, senior officials from various ministries, agencies and departments from both countries, as well as representatives from the private sector.

Source: Bernama Posted on : 25 November 2020

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