ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Malaysia-EU FTA to strengthen trade with Austria
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the combination of economic reforms and deepening engagement with the EU through the Malaysia-EU FTA, opens exciting avenues for businesses.
"I hope we will both continue to push pro-businesses initiatives and encourage our respective business communities to take advantage of the potential for trade between our two nations," he said in his speech at the Malaysia-Austria Economic Forum here Monday.
His speech was read by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
The FTA talks were launched by Najib during talks with the EU in Brussels last month.
In 2009, Malaysia's bilateral trade with Austria only amounted to Euro 298.8 million.
Austria was Malaysia's 11th largest trading partner within the EU. Among Asean nations, Malaysia was Austria's third largest trading partner, after Thailand and Singapore.
Najib said Austrian companies could explore investment opportunities under the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), which will see the implementation of 131 entry point projects worth Euro 98.2 billion and 60 business opportunities worth Euro 79.7 billion.
As of July this year, 11 Austrian manufacturing projects valued at Euro 42.5 million had been implemented. Ten additional manufacturing projects valued at Euro 19.7 million have also been approved.
Najib said these projects mainly centred on textiles and textile products, chemicals and chemicals products, electronics and electrical products, basic metal products as well as machinery and equipment.
To date, 40 Austrian companies are currently operating in Malaysia.
On building a knowledge-based society, the prime minister said Malaysia could learn and emulate many things from Austria.
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