Home » Malaysia-Egypt Form Working Groups To Address Private Sector’s Concern

Malaysia-Egypt Form Working Groups To Address Private Sector’s Concern

News From : DagangHalal.com (08 Oct 2009)

From Jeffri Mohd Rafiee

CAIRO, Oct 8 (Bernama) — Malaysia and Egypt have formed specific working groups to discuss and address issues of concern to the private sector of both countries, including halal standards, conformity assessment activities, SME collaboration and trademarks.

This was to ensure substantial outcomes from the formation of the Malaysia-Egypt Joint Trade and Investment Committee (JTIC), said the Malaysian International Trade and Industry in a statement.

“These technical groups are expected to begin work within three months and will incorporate members from the Joint Business Council,” it said.

Malaysia’s International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed and his Egyptian counterpart, Rachid Mohamed Rachid, co-chaired the first JTIC meeting and thereafter inaugurated the establishment of the Joint Business Council here on Tuesday.

“Malaysia-Egypt relationship was traditionally based on culture, education and diplomacy.

“It is now time for us to take this relationship further and into new areas of trade and investment,” Mustapa said in the statement.

He added that given Malaysia’s expertise and experience, Malaysia could contribute towards Egypt’s development plans.

These include infrastructure development, ICT and R&D in biotechnology.

“The inaugural JTIC meeting discussed and reached an understanding on various bilateral trade and investment issues and cooperation programmes,” the statement said.

Mustapa also took the opportunity to raise concerns, including that of standards and trademarks, faced by some members of the Malaysian private sector.

The JTIC, which provides the mechanism for discussing areas of further economic collaboration, complemented the Trade Agreement and the Investment Guarantee Agreement which both countries signed in Cairo on Jan 8, 1977 and Kuala Lumpur on April 14, 1997, respectively.

In the meeting, both ministers reported on recent economic developments in their respective countries and reviewed the progress in trade and economic relations between Egypt and Malaysia.

Malaysia’s statistics indicate that bilateral trade between Malaysia and Egypt continued to improve in 2008, increasing by more than three-fold to RM2,748.1 million, from RM831.6 million in 2001.

The ministers noted that the present volume of trade between Malaysia and Egypt is small.

They agreed that both countries have yet to realise the potential that each can offer and could explore complementarities for trade and investment expansion through the JTIC.

To date, investment crossflows between both countries is limited. As at December 2008, investments from Egypt amounted to RM20.8 billion (US$5.83 billion) in wood and wood products, machinery and equipment for oil and gas industry and, souvenirs and giftware.

Malaysian investments in Egypt is in the oil and gas related industry, palm oil, distribution of automotive and autoparts, as well as smart card technology.

The ministers were pleased to note the establishment of the local chapters of the Business Council, which is timely and opportune, and expressed confidence that the council will encourage more active participation of its members in trade and investment activities.

— BERNAMA

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