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[ 24-05-2016 ]
Malaysia Looks To Enhance Trade, Investment Ties With Chile
SANTIAGO, May 24 (Bernama) -- Trade and investment ties between Malaysia and Chile are set to be further enhanced with the start of a "Seminar on Business Opportunities with Malaysia" here today.

Organised by the Malaysian External Trade and Development Cooperation (Matrade),the seminar which showcases Malaysian products and services, has received an overwhelming response from the business community here with 150 participants.

Sharing Malaysia's success in managing its economy, Matrade Senior Director, Strategic Planning, Wan Latiff Wan Musa called on the Chilean business community to leverage on the existing Free Trade Agreement (FTA), signed between the two countries in 2012.

He said they should also take advantage of Malaysia's competitive edge in terms of attracting Chilean businesses and investments and use the country as a gateway to enter and capture the ASEAN market.

This follows the immense opportunities available to them following implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community.

"In 2015, Malaysia recorded US$375.8 billion in total trade with a five per cent gross domestic (GDP) growth.

"Malaysia is a very open economy. The value of total trade is much higher than that of the GDP. We will continue with this approach in enhancing international trade, including with Chile," Wan Latiff said in his keynote address at the opening of the seminar.

He said Malaysia had a more diversified economic structure now, which establishes the foundation for future growth.

"Due to domestic and external factors, last year we record the five per cent growth and it was six per cent in 2014. Domestic demand will remain the key driver of growth led by private sectors spending," he added.

He noted that Malaysia's total trade with Chile in 2015 stood at US$415.2 million. Total exports were at US$222.8 million, and imports at US$192.5 million.

Wan Latiff said Malaysia's major exports to Chile were electrical and electronics products (photosensitive semi-conductor devices, diodes, and microwave ovens) worth US$109.3 million.

Wood products comprising wooden furniture stood at US$23.1 million, rubber products including rubber gloves, tubes, pipes and hoses, hard rubber & articles of rubber were worth US$23.1 million.

Chemicals & chemicals products, fertilisers, alcohols & phenols, soap, cleansing and polishing preparation came to US$18.4 million.

Palm oil & palm based products comprising vegetable fat & oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil posted US$109.3 million.

The seminar here is the last leg of the trade and investment mission from May 14 to 27, to three countries, namely Peru, Mexico and Chile, and led earlier by the Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

Here in Chile, Wan Latiff is the Chief-de-Mission for the event and among others, includes one-to-one business meetings for participating Malaysian companies.

He said the Malaysia-Chile Free Trade Agreement (MCFTA) is the first and only bilateral FTA between Malaysia and a Latin American country which came into force on Feb 25, 2012.

He said Malaysia and Chile have agreed to progressively reduce or eliminate tariffs on respective industrial and agricultural products.

Upon coming into force, 90.2 per cent of tariff lines have a zero per cent tariff and by 2016, 98 per cent will fall into this category.

Also present at the seminar was Malaysian Ambassador to Chile, Datuk Mohamad Rameez Yahaya, President of the Santiago Chamber of Commerce, Peter Hill and Trade Commissioner, Matrade Santiago, Noor Ezzwanee Ahmad.

Wan Latiff said 12 business representatives from 10 companies are part of the trade mission to Chile.

The companies are IX Global Services Sdn Bhd (IT System Integration Services), Lite Bulk Sdn Bhd (Bulk Logistics), Mazsoni Global Sdn Bhd (Building Materials), Pitaberry Sdn Bhd (Health Beverages), Seni Daya Woods Industries (M) Sdn Bhd (Children's Furniture), and Star Medik Sdn Bhd (Medical Devices), Tamarind Furniture Sdn Bhd (Rubber wood furniture), VG Metal Technology (M) Sdn Bhd (Oil and Gas), VG Offshore Containers International (Oil and Gas) and UNIRAZAK, a financial Services provider for Sukuk (Islamic Bonds).

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