Malaysia and Russia caught up to discuss way forward in strengthening bilateral economic relations through the recently held 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 plenary session of the meeting which took place virtually was co-chaired by the Secretary General of MITI Datuk Lokman Hakim Ali who led the Malaysian delegation, with Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, H.E. Aleksei Gruzdev, leading the Russian delegation
Objective of the meet was 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.
Datuk 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. He 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 (NIA) for the promising ventures in Malaysia.
Eight areas of cooperation were identified under this renewed
chapter for bilateral trade, investment and industrial collaboration, namely:
(ii) Pharmaceutical and Medical Equipment;
(iv) Innovation and IT Technologies,
(v) Oil and Gas, Chemical and Power Engineering Equipment;
(vii) Halal; and
(viii) Food Safety.
The Russion Federation has been Malaysia’s top 30 trading partner globally for the past eight years and our 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% to RM1.72 billion (USD0.42 billion) compared to the corresponding period of 2020. Total exports increased by 40.4% to RM1.01 billion (USD0.25 billion) mainly due to the rising demand for rubber products. Total imports decreased by 28.7% to RM0.71 billion (USD0.17 billion) contributed by decline in imports of petroleum products and crude petroleum.
On the investment front, Malaysia registered a total of eight (8) manufacturing projects with Russian participation which have been implemented worth RM128.32 million and creating 408 jobs