Senior Minister and Minister of International Trade and Industry, YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, paid a courtesy call on the President of the Republic of Turkey, His Excellency Recep Tayyip Erdoğan today, at the Presidential Complex. President Erdoğan was also joined by H.E. Mustafa Varank, Minister of Industry and Technology, as well as H.E. Merve Safa Kavakçı, the Ambassador of Turkey to Malaysia.

Dato’ Seri Azmin was accorded a very warm and cordial reception by His Excellency President Erdoğan. The Senior Minister expressed his profound gratitude to His Excellency for taking time off from his extremely busy schedule to meet with him.

His Excellency President Erdoğan expressed Turkey’s solidarity in being together with Malaysia, to curb the COVID-19 pandemic. He also indicated keen interest to work closely with Malaysia to arrive at a mutual recognition arrangement for vaccines.

In this vein, the Senior Minister expressed Malaysia’s ardent hope for both countries to emerge from the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, stronger and more resilient, on to a path of vibrant and sustainable economic recovery and growth.

President Erdoğan underscored the importance of elevating existing trade and investment linkages between Malaysia and Turkey, including through the Malaysia- Turkey FTA (MTFTA). He noted that the full potential of trade volume between Malaysia and Turkey has yet to be realised. He further highlighted the need for both countries to work closely to increase the existing trade volume. In this regard, the Senior Minister reiterated Malaysia’s firm commitment to further boost trade ties between both countries. Bilateral trade between both countries continue to post steady growth, but there remain significant opportunities for further improvements. The Senior Minister also noted that the existing trade relationship should be deepened and strengthened to truly reflect the longstanding bilateral and historical ties.

The President and the Senior Minister also recognised that trade volume continues to be in Malaysia’s favour. In this vein, Dato’ Seri Azmin underscored Malaysia’s commitment to enable further imports from Turkey to access the Malaysian market. He noted that the expansion of the existing FTA will be pivotal to facilitate and increase Turkey’s exports to Malaysia.

In reinforcing this mandate, Dato’ Seri Azmin informed the President of the signing of the Joint Declaration on The Expansion of The Free Trade Agreement Between The Government of Malaysia and The Government of The Republic of Turkey, which marks a resolute commitment to continue to champion progressive liberalisation at a time when new forms of protectionism are taking root.

On defence, both sides agreed to enhance mutually-beneficial cooperation initiatives that will help propel technological advancements in Malaysia and Turkey. The President noted that there are 14 MOUs in the defence sector, that are currently in place. He stressed that realising these MOUs are of critical importance to ensure that both sides truly gain from such arrangements.

Dato’ Seri Azmin and President Erdoğan also exchanged views on future developments in the region and the way forward to accelerate investment cross flows between Malaysia and Turkey. The President also invited Malaysian state-owned enterprises (SOEs) such as Khazanah to further expand their investments, in Turkey. To this end, they both agreed that preferential trading arrangements such as RCEP can serve as an integral tool to Turkish companies investing and locating in Malaysia, as they will be able to benefit from the preferences granted in the agreement when exporting to ASEAN, Japan, Korea, China, Australia and New Zealand.

Last but not least, both Malaysia and Turkey also agreed to convene a dedicated meeting soonest, between the relevant officials, to advance discussions on the bilateral currency swap agreement. The President and the Senior Minister also noted there has been a recent meeting between the Central Bank of Malaysia and the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey on 30 June 2021, on this matter, and expressed hope for pragmatic progress on this front.

The meeting ended on a high note with both the President and the Senior Minister reiterating their conviction that Malaysia and Turkey will continue to foster, strengthen and deepen bilateral economic, trade and investment linkages.

MINISTRY OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND INDUSTRY (MITI)
14 JULY 2021

MEDIA RELEASE - COURTESY CALL ON PRESIDENT ERDOGAN FINAL V3_14 JULY 2021

The Government of Malaysia and the Government of the Republic of Turkey signed the Joint Declaration on the Expansion of the Free Trade Agreement between Malaysia and Turkey, in Ankara today. The Joint Declaration was concluded during the Trade and Investment Mission to Turkey, led by Senior Minister and Minister of International Trade and Industry, YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.

The signing of the Joint Declaration marks a resolute commitment from both countries to continue to take the path of progressive liberalisation at a time when new forms of protectionism are taking root. Acknowledging the essential role of trade agreements in boosting post-pandemic recovery and growth, both Malaysia and Turkey have agreed that it is an opportune time for the MTFTA that was signed in 2014, to be expanded to include the services, investment and e-commerce chapters. Malaysia was represented by Dato’ Seri Azmin while the Republic of Turkey was represented by its Minister of Trade, His Excellency Dr. Mehmet Muş.

At the bilateral meeting that preceded the signing, both Ministers underscored their firm conviction for the rules-based multilateral trading system and the complementary role assumed by pragmatic economic integration initiatives. Dato’ Seri Azmin emphasised the significant role of FTAs in advancing the trade and economic interests of both countries. As world economies ramp up efforts for economic recovery, the expansion of MTFTA areas has become even more imperative in order to explore new and creative ways of enhancing bilateral market access.

The MTFTA was signed on 17 April 2014 and came into force on 1 August 2015. With the entry into force of MTFTA, Malaysian exporters were able to secure preferential market access into, and remain competitive in, the Turkish market.

Total trade between Malaysia and Turkey has witnessed steady increase since the MTFTA was enforced in 2015. That year alone, bilateral trade witnessed a phenomenal increase of 76.8% compared with 2014, and in 2017, it reached USD2.79 billion, the highest number ever recorded. For the period of January to May 2021, total trade between both countries increased by 79.4% to USD1.63 billion compared with USD0.88 billion for the same period in 2020.

In 2020, Turkey was Malaysia’s third largest trading partner, second largest export destination and fifth largest import source among the countries in the West Asia region. The expansion of MTFTA is expected to inject significant impetus to the economic recovery efforts being undertaken by both countries, and pave the way for enhanced synergistic bilateral cooperation between Malaysia and Turkey.
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MINISTRY OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND INDUSTRY (MITI)
13 JULY 2021

FINAL_MEDIA RELEASE ON MTFTA EXPANSION_13 JULY 2021_7PM (1)

Senior Minister and Minister of International Trade and Industry, YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali is on a three-day Trade and Investment Mission (TIM) to Qatar with the objective to promote Malaysia as an investment destination of choice, as well as further enhance bilateral trade and economic ties.

On the first day of TIM, the Senior Minister concluded a bilateral meeting with his counterpart, His Excellency Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Acting Minister of Finance. The discussion covered a broad spectrum of matters including the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic and how best to create joint efforts for a sustainable economic recovery.

In addressing the current state of the pandemic, the Senior Minister and his counterpart exchanged views on the various measures undertaken to deal with the challenges including accelerated immunisation programmes as well as the economic stimulus initiatives. While Malaysia’s GDP projections had been revised to 4.5%, Senior Minister highlighted that for the first time in history, Malaysia had broken record for a one-month trade performance in spite of the pandemic exceeding RM100 billion. Going forward, the Senior Minister reiterated Malaysia’s clear and comprehensive exit strategy through the National Recovery Plan.

Both Governments are committed to resuming efforts on operationalising the strategies through the 3rd Malaysia-Qatar Joint Trade Committee (JTC) meeting, necessitating stronger private sector participation in the dialogue. Both Governments will also jointly facilitate and continue to work on the Investment Guarantee Agreement to encourage more investment crossflows between Qatar and Malaysia.

The Senior Minister emphasized that Qatar could use Malaysia as its trading hub in the ASEAN region, underscoring that Malaysia offers the best location in the region. With the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement, Malaysia has become more attractive as it is connected to a market size of over two billion people. On bilateral investment, Senior Minister advocated Malaysian projects as the key to advancing Malaysia’s interest where, pursuant to the MOU signed between the Malaysian Investments Development Authority (MIDA) and the Investment Promotion Agency of Qatar (IPAQ), both agencies could take this to the next level.

The Senior Minister is scheduled to meet the Prime Minister of Qatar, His Excellency Sheikh Khalid Bin Khalifa Bin Abdulaziz Al Thani today. This meeting is key to start the discussion on Malaysia’s National Investment Aspirations (NIA) that will drive and deepen the strong partnership with Qatar. The NIA consists of five key outcomes for the country, namely, to increase economic complexity, create high-value job opportunities, extend domestic linkages, develop new and existing clusters, and improve inclusivity. The NIA aspires to champion equitable growth for the nation by ensuring equal opportunities, as well as adequate safeguards for the people.

The TIM will continue with targeted one-on-one business meetings on new opportunities and collaboration that are paramount for the expansion of public-private strategic partnerships. The meetings will be held with prominent leaders of Qatari companies in the retail service, cyber security and other areas that will expand Malaysia’s footprint in the global halal industry.

As the world remains confronted with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Malaysia being a global trading nation, must take proactive action to strengthen economic resilience and enhance our efforts to attract quality, high value and high-impact investments to the nation. This TIM is poised to reap significant success, on account of Malaysia’s long-standing bilateral relationship with the State of Qatar.

MINISTRY OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND INDUSTRY (MITI)
5 JULY 2021

MEDIA RELEASE-TIM QATAR-5 JULY 2021-FINAL_V13

MEDIA RELEASE – PROMOTING MALAYSIA AS A TRADE AND INVESTMENT HUB TO QATARI BUSINESSES

Senior Minister and Minister of International Trade and Industry, YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali arrived in Doha, State of Qatar, today for a three-day Trade and Investment Mission (TIM) to promote Malaysia as an investment destination of choice, as well as reinforce confidence from the global business community to source from Malaysia.

Getting straight to business upon arrival, Dato’ Seri Azmin Ali held a bilateral meeting with his counterpart, His Excellency Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari, Minister of Commerce and Industry where they discussed a broad spectrum of matters including how best to move forward on collaboration initiatives for bilateral and regional economic cooperation to spur trade and investment ties as well as sustainable economic recovery.

Both Ministers complimented the strong bilateral trade and investment relations but agreed that there are many opportunities to do more. In the spirit of such close ties, Ministers agreed to keep an open mind on any mutually beneficial ideas for further cooperation.

Senior Minister commended Qatar for managing the pandemic well. Malaysia too is currently managing the latest outbreak of the pandemic. Ensuring Malaysia’s and also the region’s economic recovery, Dato’ Seri Azmin shared that Malaysia is accelerating our immunisation programme, targeted to achieve herd immunity by end of the year.

His Excellency Ali shared his view that 2020 was also a challenging year and 2021, although promising, is still affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. On immunisation, the State of Qatar planned to achieve herd immunity by mid-July or early August 2021.

Both Ministers also shared views on economic lockdowns as a measure to contain the pandemic and agreed that the impact of such shutting would bring more harm than good to the economy in the long run.

Dato’ Seri Azmin shared with His Excellency Ali that Malaysia has allocated RM530 billion in stimulus packages to assist continuity of economic activities and the livelihood of the people during the pandemic. As a result, Malaysia’s GDP was projected to reach 6.0% in 2021. However, due to the latest surge of cases, it is currently revised to 4.5%. Nonetheless, Senior Minister highlighted that Malaysia has the fundamental strength which resulted in record breaking exports of more than RM100 billion for the months of March, April and May this year.

His Excellency Ali expressed Qatar’s keenness to host the 3rd Malaysia-Qatar Joint Trade Committee (JTC) and would convey suitable timing for such a meeting via diplomatic channels when the pandemic situation improves. In response, Senior Minister conveyed Malaysia’s readiness to convene such a meeting. To empower the JTC meeting, Dato’ Seri Azmin proposed to bring in private sector participation and both Ministers concurred that such an idea is paramount so as to propel the private sector to be the prime mover of the economy.

His Excellency Ali also suggested for stronger business-to-business relations that could be facilitated by our respective Governments. Senior Minister concurred with His Excellency Ali’s view, noting that cross relations between Government and private sector could always be supported as long as it brings mutual benefit to all parties.

His Excellency Ali highlighted the need to continue to work on the Investment Guarantee Agreement (IGA) where the protection to investment accorded under IGA will encourage more investment crossflows between Qatar and Malaysia. His Excellency Ali further suggested that signing of such an agreement could be done at the next JTC Meeting.

Dato’ Seri Azmin reiterated the principle agreement that Qatar use Malaysia as its trading hub in the ASEAN region, underscoring that Malaysia offers the best location in the region. He highlighted that with the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement, Malaysia has become more attractive as it is connected to a market size of over 2 billion people. His Excellency Ali was keen to discuss further and would instruct its officials to begin deliberating on this concept. Conversely, Qatar proposed that Malaysian companies use Qatar as hub into their region.

On bilateral investment, Senior Minister advocated Malaysian projects requiring capital funding as the key to advancing Malaysia’s interest. To take this forward, the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) will share the list of the projects to the Investment Promotion Agency of Qatar (IPAQ). Dato’ Seri Azmin also noted that there is an existing MOU between MIDA and IPAQ but stressed that such an MOU must be translated into action.

Senior Minister also took the opportunity to promote the National Investment Aspirations (NIA), underscoring that a new policy is needed to adapt to new challenges while giving focus on innovation as well as issues concerning environmental, social responsibility and governance (ESG). His Excellency Ali shared that Qatar is also giving importance on ESG issues while at the same time focusing its resources on LNG industry.

Senior Minister shared with His Excellency Ali the difficulty of PETRONAS competing with Qatar Petroleum on LNG pricing in the international market, pointing out the synergies that can be availed with cooperation from His Excellency Ali would ensure sustainability of the LNG business for both our companies.

The Trade and Investment Mission will also see Senior Minister holding targeted one-to-one business meetings with prominent leaders of Qatari companies as well as potential investors to further explore new business opportunities and collaboration in the retail service, cyber security and expanding Malaysia’s footprint in the global halal industry.

The Mission, organised by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), is crucial to demonstrating Malaysia’s business friendly policy and comprehensive measures to solidify economic cooperation with key regional partners. The Mission is also the Senior Minister’s first official visit to the State of Qatar since taking office.

In view of Malaysia’s long-standing bilateral relationship with the State of Qatar, this Mission is key towards strengthening the synergy with the State of Qatar in charting the next phase of economic cooperation for mutual benefit. Malaysia hopes to continue to attract quality and high-impact investments from the State of Qatar to further catalyse value creation, in line with the country’s National Investment Aspirations.

In 2020, the State of Qatar was Malaysia’s sixth largest trading partner and seventh source of import in the West Asia region. The total trade between both countries was recorded at RM2.10 billion (USD0.50 billion) with Malaysia’s exports to Qatar amounted to RM1.13 billion (USD0.27 billion) and imports value totalled at RM0.97 billion (USD0.23 billion). Majority of the investments from the State of Qatar are in commercial real estate development and insurance services.

Recognizing the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Dato’ Seri Azmin Ali is accompanied by a small delegation of senior officials from MITI, Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) and Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE). In addition, the Mission will be subjected to strict COVID-19 Preventive Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) as agreed upon by Malaysia’s Ministry of Health (MOH) and National Security Council (NSC) as well as by the Government of the State of Qatar. Members of delegation are required to undergo mandatory quarantine as soon as they return to Malaysia as prescribed by the MOH.

MINISTRY OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND INDUSTRY (MITI)

4 JULY 2021