MONDAY, 22 MAY 2017, KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) in collaboration with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) organised a seminar today to create a stronger awareness on business and financing opportunities available for Malaysian companies in the Organisation of Islamic Countries markets - also the IDB member countries. The event is titled as ‘Business and Financing Opportunities with the Islamic Development Bank Group (IDBG)’.
The seminar was a result of a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Government of Malaysia and the IDB Group in November 2016, aimed at promoting cooperation in Islamic Finance, Reverse Linkage, Resource Mobility and Halal Industry. During the event, participants were exposed to information on business and trade financing opportunities offered by the IDB. The seminar was also an avenue for Malaysian companies to obtain insights on the OIC markets’ economic outlook.
Around 140 participants attended the half-day seminar. The speakers at the seminar were from the Islamic Cooperation for the Development of Private Sector (ICD), International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), PMB Tejari Berhad, Federation of Consultants from Islamic Countries (FCIC), the Embassy of Turkey and the Embassy of Tajikistan in Kuala Lumpur.
According to MATRADE’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Dato’ Wan Latiff Wan Musa, the seminar was an initiative to boost Malaysia’s bilateral trade with the OIC countries through financing facilities provided by the IDB Group. “There are a lot of potentials for Malaysian companies to further develop their businesses in these markets. Considering the huge population of over 1.4 billion people in the OIC, there are still a lot of opportunities for Malaysian companies to tap into. As the national trade promotion agency, it is our role to educate the local companies on these opportunities in areas such as construction, energy, engineering, agriculture and human development,” he said.
For the period of January to March 2017, despite the global economic slowdown, Malaysia’s total trade with the 57 OIC member countries were valued at USD10.44 billion with exports valued at USD5.29 billion and imports at USD5.15 billion. In 2016, our total trade with these IDB member countries were valued at USD34.96 billion. Total exports were recorded at USD19.78 billion, while imports were at USD15.18 billion.
Malaysia’s major export destinations in the OIC were Indonesia, valued at USD6.67 billion, followed by the United Arab Emirates (USD3.03 billion), Turkey (USD1.72 billion), Bangladesh at (USD1.24 billion) and Pakistan (USD1.17 billion). Main export items to these countries were Palm Oil and Palm-Based Products, Chemicals and Chemical Products, Petroleum Products, Machinery, Equipment and Parts, as well as Electrical and Electronics Products.
MATRADE is also facilitating Malaysian investments abroad by providing information and advisory services to the companies. Malaysian investments in the OIC countries have been showing promising results. In 2016, Malaysia’s investment into the OIC countries reached a total amount of USD2.05 billion, showing an increase of 25% from USD1.64 billion registered in 2015.
Some of the successful investments in these countries include Energy Projects in Bangladesh by Tenaga Nasional Berhad; Hospital Management in Bangladesh by KPJ Healthcare; Oil & Gas Projects in Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan by Petronas, UMW and Scomi Berhad; Construction Projects in Makkah by MMC, Malakoff, UEM, Prasarana and Dialog Group and Airport Management Projects in Turkey and Kazakhstan by Malaysia Airport Berhad.
“It is important for Malaysian companies to leverage on both Malaysia and IDB member countries strengths for mutual economic benefits. Malaysian companies are encouraged to capitalise on the financing facilitiesopportunities offered by the IDB to expand their exports and investments in the OIC countries,” Dato’ Wan Latiff mentioned.