Malaysia’s Trade with UAE up 20 per cent, says Envoy

5/11/2010 — BERNAMA

Malaysia’s economic growth is on track with a 20 per cent increase in trade with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the first two months of this year.

“We have seen in January and February this year that trade has again been increasing about 20 per cent,” said Malaysian ambassador to the UAE, Datuk Yahaya Abdul Jabar.

“This is a good indicator that economic recovery is progressing well, at least for Malaysia and the UAE,” he told Bernama here.

Yahaya said total Malaysian exports last year amounted to about RM11 billion and imports from UAE totalled about RM6 billion.

“Trade is still in Malaysia’s favour. However, last year because of the global economic recession, there was a drop in our exports compared to about RM20 billion in 2008,” he said.

“We hope this year to recover to the level of 2008,” he added.

The major export item from Malaysia to the UAE was gold, followed by jewellery, electrical and electronic, palm oil, wood products, furniture, and chemical products.

Yahaya was speaking on the sidelines of the East Coast Economic Region Council (ECRDC) investment mission to the Middle East from May 7 to 17.

Malaysia’s trade commissioner in Dubai, Datuk Dzulkifli Mahmud, said the UAE remained as Malaysia’s largest source of imports from the West Asian region despite registering a decline in import value by 27.1 per cent to 6,117 million dirhams last year.

He said that during the first two months of this year, imports had moved in positive direction by registering a growth of 23 per cent as compared to the January-February 2009 period.

The major import item from the UAE was crude petrolem, followed by manufactured metal products and refined petroleum products.

The ECRDC mission is aimed at attracting investors from the Gulf as well as to enhance bilateral business relationships between Malaysia and the Middle East countries.

It is led by former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who is the Adviser of Corridor Development in Malaysia.

The mission was the result of a collaboration between the Malaysian Industrial Development Authority and the Malaysian embassies in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, with the participation of officials from ECERDC, ECER state governments and Halal Development Corporation.

ECERDC conducted a series of business meetings with identified potential investors from the Gulf region, including the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, Emirates Investment Authority and Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry