KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 14 (Bernama) -- Malaysia's exports to the former SovietUnion countries increased by 25.34 percent or RM360.97 million toRM1,785.60 for the first nine months of this year compared with RM1,424.63in the same period last year.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of International Trade andIndustry Datin Dr Tan Yee Kew said that last year, Malaysia's total tradewith the former Soviet Union countries increased 5.2 percent to RM2.9billion from RM1.9 billion in 2002.
In 2002, exports increased by 130.6 percent to RM1,973.1 million fromRM885.7 million while imports decreased 6.1 percent to RM970.3 millionfrom RM1,033.4 million, she told the Senate, here Tuesday.
Tan said that the ministry has implemented measures to increase bilateraltrade including organising participation of Malaysian companies ininternational trade exhibitions in the countries concerned.
"Malaysia also organises trade mission and consultations with thesecountries which apply to become members of the World Trade Organisation(WTO) so that the import duty for products which have export interest inthis country can be reduced," she said.
She said that obstructions faced by Malaysian companies in these countriesincluded a complicated licensing system.
It also took a long time to obtain a licence which resulted in increasedcost in conducting trade, Tan said.
"Apart from that, local companies also face banking risks, exchage rateand the financial reserves of companies in those countries, as well as thehigh interest rate offered by the local banks," she said.
To a supplementary question by Datuk Karim Ghani, who wanted to know thetypes of trade conducted with these countries, Tan said that the majorexports included steel, palm oil, electric and electronic products as wellas chemical-based products.