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 Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani
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 MITI To Intensify Trade And Investment Promotions

KUALA LUMPUR, July 17 (Bernama) -- The momentum of trade and investmentpromotion activities will be intensified in 2003, the Ministry ofInternational Trade and Industry (MITI) said in its 2002 report releasedThursday.

In terms of exports, the immediate emphasis is to seek new markets forMalaysian products and services, it added.

Malaysia would continue with its efforts to attract investments in thewake of strong global competition for foreign direct investments (FDI),especially from lower cost producing countries including China and otheremerging economies, particularly Asean countries, it said.

The underlying theme was that Malaysia must continue to be an attractiveinvestment location with vast potential for long-term investment, itadded.

Trade promotion strategies and activities in 2002 focused on expandingexports to traditional markets and further developing new markets.

To achieve this objective, activities had been intensified in terms ofnumbers and coverage, both overseas and within the country, MITI said.

To complement export strategies, trade seminars were conducted to enhancethe ability of Malaysian exporters to exploit opportunities in the globalmarket.

Malaysia would also continue to offer an attractive investment environmentto both foreign and domestic investors, it said.

Promotional activities undertaken were aimed at highlighting opportunitiesin the manufacturing sector.

MITI said areas of focus were high technology, capital intensive andknowledge driven industries, industries manufacturing intermediate goodsand engineering supporting industries that cater to the need ofmultinationals in Malaysia and for the export market.

Emphasis was also placed on the promotion of manufacturing-relatedservices in areas including research and development, design, marketing,logistics, operational headquarters, international procurement centres andregional/representative offices.

Major capital exporting and technologically advanced countries werefeatured prominently among the trade and investment mission destinationsin 2002.

The objectives of these missions were to promote exports and furtherattract investments into the manufacturing and its related servicessectors, it said.

In addition, these missions also provided the opportunity to inform andupdate foreign businessmen on business and investment opportunitiesavailable in Malaysia.

The ministry said eight trade and investment missions were organised toNorth America, Europe, the Far East and Asean countries.

A total of 378 Malaysian businessmen from 195 companies participated inthese missions.

They represented a wide range of sectors, among others, processed food,palm oil, automotive parts and components, construction equipment andpharmaceuticals, it said.

In conjunction with the missions, 29 trade and investment seminarsentitled "Business Opportunities In Malaysia," were held. The seminarsattracted 7,266 participants from the countries visited.

During the year, a total of 3,000 individual business meetings were alsoarranged for members of the Malaysian delegation and their foreigncounterparts, MITI said.

Actual sales concluded arising from such business meetings amounted toRM2.5 million, while potential sales recorded were RM861.9 million.

In terms of investments, foreign investors were keen on advancedelectronics, aerospace engineering, biotechnology and petrochemicals, itsaid.

In 2002, the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade)processed 16,430 trade enquiries received through its offices in Malaysiaand its network of 22 offices overseas.

These enquiries were related to a broad range of products and services.

The United States, Canada and the Caribbean together accounted for 25.4percent of the enquiries, China (8.3 percent), Germany and the Netherlands(7.8 percent each) and Asean, Oceania and South Asia (6.6 percent each).

Domestic enquiries accounted for 29.5 percent of total enquiries.