News From : DagangHalal.com (21 Mar 2010)
BANGKOK, March 21 (Bernama) — The biggest ever trade delegation from Thailand, with 120 businessmen, will visit Kuala Lumpur next week in a move to enhance bilateral trade and investment between the two countries.
Malaysian Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said here today they had shown keen interest to increase their investment in Malaysia as well as seek partners for joint-venture projects.
The three-day visit from March 29 would be in line with the aspiration of Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak who wanted to encourage more investment by Thai investors in Malaysia, he said.
Najib had expressed his concern in the matter at a joint press statement issued at the end of the annual consultations between him and his Thai counterpart, Abhisit Vejjajiva, in Bangkok on Dec 11 last year.
There is an investment imbalance between the two countries at the moment, with Malaysians investing a total of RM3 billion in this country while Thailand’s investment in Malaysia is about RM500 million.
Malaysia’s major investors in Thailand include Petronas, AirAsia, CIMB Bank, Sime Darby and Proton, especially in the oil and gas, air transportation, banking, vegetable oil refinery and automotive industry.
CP Group, the region’s giant food producer, Siam Cement and BJC (Berli Jucker Public Co Ltd), which produces potato chips, are among Thailand’s key investors in Malaysia.
Mustapa said Malaysia would like to see Thailand increase its investment in Malaysia in the area of agriculture, “halal” sector, small and medium enterprises, chemicals and food.
Mustapa, who arrived here last night, had a marathon meeting with Malaysian businessmen and top local business leaders as a follow-up to Najib’s visit. He is scheduled to leave for Kuala Lumpur later today.
The minister said that altogether three trade delegations would be going to Malaysia within the next three months, starting with the upcoming trip.
He said a group of Thai businessmen involved in the halal industry would visit Malaysia next month, and this would be followed by a visit in June of representatives of 20 companies listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand.
“We expect the size of Thailand’s investment in Malaysia to increase with the three important trade visits within the next three months. We also look forward to an increase in the number of joint-venture projects,” Mustapa said.
He said total trade between the two countries increased by 44 per cent in January 2010, recording RM5.3 billion compared to RM3.7 billion in January 2009.
By Jamaluddin Muhammad