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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  28  August 2014  

Malaysia has no economic ties with Israel - Mustapa

Malaysia is standing firm on its foreign policy which does not allow any diplomatic relations to be established with Israel, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said.
He said also in principle, the Malaysian government had never established any direct trade relations with Israel.
In line with the policy and the principle of humanity and world peace, Mustapa said the ministry fully supported the international community's call for the Israeli brutality against the Palestinians in Gaza to be stopped immediately.
He said all the entrances to Palestine were controlled by the Israeli border authorities, except at the Egypt-Gaza border.
"The Egyptian government only allows the entry of humanitarian aid, medicines and food to Palestine through the Rafah Border Crossing," he said in a statement on the Malaysia-Palestine-Israel Global Trade Relations here today.
Mustapa said all indirect trades between Malaysia and the areas were to support the economic development and to send humanitarian aid to the Palestinians.
"This is because Malaysian exports to Palestine and the Gaza strip had to be brought in through the port of Ashdod in Israel territory as the Gaza Port was still blocked by Israel," he said.
Besides, approximately 40,000 Palestinians entered Israel on daily basis, 30,000 of whom were working, while 10,000 others were trying to get permits to stay overnight in Israel.
Some of them entered Israel to get medical treatment and visit their family members, he said.
Mustapa explained that based on the ministry's observation, there were three modes of trade with Israel, with the first being the practice of global supply and value chain of international and multinational corporations (MNCs).
He said the second mode was having the products delivered to Palestine through Israel and the third was through export to Israel, which probably not done directly, but was sent from a third country.
Mustapa said based on the International Trade Centre's (ITC) statistics for 2013, Malaysia was ranked 32nd in the list of exporters to Israel and 12th in the list of importers from Israel.
"The data released by the ITC reflect the exports by country of origin, that is the entry of Malaysian-made products to Israel through a third country, such as Singapore and Hong Kong, which was recorded as exports from Malaysia. This method of trade recording is practiced by many other countries," he said.
The minister said today's practice of international trade involved MNCs investing and operating in Malaysia through the global supply and value chain where many countries, including Israel, were part of the chain.
"This international business and investment practice is beyond the control of the Malaysian government.
"However, the existence of the practice does not affect the Malaysian government's firmness in supporting of the call from the international community for the brutality against the Palestinians in Gaza be stopped immediately," he added. (BERNAMA)

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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