THURSDAY, JULY 18, 2019, KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) continues to play a greater role in contributing to intra-trade co-operation between Malaysia and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member countries by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC). This is the second MoU signed between MATRADE and ITFC since 2009.
Through the MoU, the two parties will be collaborating on trade promotion facilitation programmes, exchange of trade information, exchange of business delegations visits, identification of project opportunities for Malaysian companies, sharing of experience in capacity building, collaboration in specific projects as well as other forms of cooperation relating to trade promotion.
The initiative is a continuation of MATRADE’s efforts to strengthen trade ties with the OIC countries after establishing a partnership with Islamic Development Bank on a programme called ‘Reverse Linkage’ earlier this month. The partnership too, aims to create business opportunities for Malaysian exporters with the OIC countries.
According to MATRADE’s Chief Executive Officer Dato’ Wan Latiff Wan Musa, the MoU will serve as a catalyst to create more market access for Malaysian companies into the 57 OIC member countries.
“As one of the members of the OIC, Malaysia wishes to be at the forefront of growing trade with our trading partners within the OIC countries. The OIC has a combined market size of 1.8 billion people and there are a lot of opportunities yet to be explored such as in the areas of agrotechnology, ICT, e-commerce, renewable energy, infrastructure and oil and gas. Through the ITFC, we can enhance our engagements with the OIC countries and leverage on each other’s strengths for mutual economic benefits,” said Dato’ Wan Latiff.
ITFC’s Chief Executive Officer of ITFC, Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol echoed this message. “The new MoU with MATRADE will leverage the country’s considerable strength in key areas such as digital economy and create strategic opportunities for Malaysian companies in expanding trade with other OIC member nations,” said Eng. Sonbol.
MATRADE hopes the MoU will contribute to the development of Malaysia’s trade performance with the OIC countries. In terms of trade figures, Malaysia's total trade with the OIC countries grew by 22.6 per cent for the past five years or from RM149.79 billion in 2014 to RM183.71 billion in 2018. Exports have increased by 15.6 per cent (from RM78.70 billion recorded in 2014 to RM90.95 billion in 2018), while imports grew by 26.8 per cent (a value of RM92.76 billion in 2018).
Main Malaysian exports to the OIC countries are Palm oil and Palm oil Based Agriculture products, Petroleum Products and Chemicals & Chemical Products. Meanwhile, major Malaysia’s OIC trading partners include Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Bangladesh.