Malaysia explores business ties with Africa

15:34, June 18, 2011      

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Malaysia explores room to build economic and business ties with Africa as it holds an inaugural business forum in its federal administrative center, Putrajaya on Saturday, aimed at discovering potentials local and African business owners.

"I note that trade between Malaysia and Africa today remains largely untapped, the latest statistics for 2010 shows an annual trade figure of 7.8 billion U.S. dollars with Africa, contrast to the 12 billion U.S. dollars trade last year Malaysia had with Germany a country one percent the size of Africa," said Malaysia's Deputy Prime Minister, Muhyiddin Yassin when launching the forum.

He also advised African nations to forge a more vibrant and transparent business environment by enacting stringent legislations against bribery and power abuse and "enforce them without fear and favor."

Uganda's Vice President Gilbert Balibaseka Bukenya and Zimbabwe 's President Robert Mugabe were among those present at the forum.

More than 1,000 registered participants made up of diplomats, business owners and representatives from 27 different countries in Africa attended the forum, which was held as a prelude to the three-day 2011 Langkawi International Dialogue that begins on Sunday.

Africa accounted for only two percent of Malaysia's total trade but the bilateral trade between the two has risen over the past decade from 1.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2001 to 7.8 billion U.S. dollars last year, according to Malaysia's Ministry of International Trade and Industry.

Malaysia exports palm oil, electrical and electronic products to Africa and imports crude petroleum and iron and steel products from it.

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