International Trade and Industry Minister YB Datuk Darell Leiking hosted a roundtable dialogue with the African Heads of Mission to Malaysia as part of MITI’s continuous effort to enhance Malaysia’s trade and investment performance with global economies.
The African Heads of Mission was led by the Dean of the African Ambassadors H.E. Cuthbert Zhakata who is also the Ambassador of Zimbabwe, the African delegation comprised of 21 officials including 14 Ambassadors and High Commissioners of Algeria, Egypt, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Namibia, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe as well as embassy senior officials from Guinea, Morocco, Nigeria and Tanzania.
Also present were heads of agency and senior officials of MITI, Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii), InvestKL and EXIM Bank.
Both parties acknowledged the diverse opportunities in the African region which can be tapped by Malaysia and vice versa. They also agreed that focused and strategic trade and investment promotion activities are vital to ensure substantial outcomes through tripartite collaborations among the embassies, private sector and government.
Among the potential areas are automotive component and parts, building materials, infrastructure concessions including highways, ports, public housing and government buildings, ICT, agriculture and halal industry.
“We need to re-engage with Africa as it is an emerging market and it promises a huge prospect for Malaysian investors,” comments Minister Leiking.
Leiking also, expressed hope for the rejuvenation of the South-South Cooperation particularly in the areas of trade and investment and welcomes the mooted Africa-Malaysia Business Forum in 2019 which is to be led by the African side.
In 2018, total trade with Africa amounted to RM31.38 billion, with exports to Africa at RM18.97 billion while imports were recorded at RM12.41 billion. Malaysia’s top exports to Africa were palm oil & palm-based agriculture products, processed food, petroleum products, machinery, equipment & parts and electrical & electronics.
On the other hand, Malaysia’s top imports from Africa were crude petroleum, metalliferous ores and metal scrap, natural rubber and iron & steel products.