News From : DagangHalal.com (03 Nov 2009)
By P. Prem Kumar
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 3 (Bernama) — The British government is looking forward to partner with Malaysia in Islamic finance due to the country’s success in the sector.
British Minister of Trade, Investments and Small Business, Lord Mervyn Davies, said as the world’s top financial centre, London was keen to join hands with Kuala Lumpur as the two governments could generate more ideas and schemes together.
“Hong Kong and Shangai Bank Corporation (HSBC), a globally famous bank, has moved its Islamic finance headquarters from the Middle East to Kuala Lumpur. This shows the confidence that the economy has in the Malaysian market,” Davis said.
He said this at a press meet after his one-day official visit to Malaysia Tuesday. Also present was the British High Commissioner Boyd McCleary.
Davis said Malaysia has been included as one of the top 15 high growth markets as not only big companies are interested in Malaysia but also the United Kingdom’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
“As the trade minister, I always encourage all our 4.8 million SMEs to invest and move further in countries with emerging markets like Malaysia,” he said.
Davis also said that the halal industry in Malaysia has a great future in the UK as there is a demand for the industry there.
“All these efforts will be supported by liberalisation of the service sectors carried out by the government recently, which will encourage other foreign investors, especially financial companies, to extend their services in Malaysia,” he said.
“This liberalisation will be also exciting as it will indirectly increase more foreign direct investments.”
Total exports of goods and services from the UK to Malaysia was 1.64 billion pounds last year while total exports from Malaysia to the UK was 2.04 billion pounds.
Davis said the UK has good representation in all the emerging sectors in Malaysia, including education, Islamic finance, petroleum and retail.
He advised all sectors contributing to the economy to heed Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s suggestion to invest in parts of the economy which have huge potential to recover from the current economic downturn.
“This plan is very similar to what we have been doing in the UK for the past two years,” he said.
Asked about his meeting with his Malaysian counterpart, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed, Davis said they covered a wide range of areas, which included partnerships between the two countries in the education and financial sectors.
“We will also carry on dialogues on further liberalisation, which we will work out to explore more businesses here,” he said.
On his visit to Malaysia, Davis said it was to know better the local economic situation and to further enhance the bilateral relations between London and Kuala Lumpur.
Prior to his meeting with Mustapa, the minister opened the British Educational Suppliers Asia Conference and participated in the Asian Strategic Leadership Institute Chief Executive Officers Forum.