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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

RM200m sought for trade promotions

The International Trade and Industry Ministry is seeking another RM200 million to undertake aggressive trade and investment promotion missions, said its minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd Yassin.

The allocation, which has been proposed to the Cabinet, will be used by the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation, the national trade promotion agency, and Malaysia Industrial Development Authority (MIDA) over two years.

"The softer investment and trade numbers should be taken as a sign that more aggressive promotions need to be organised to explore potential new markets like the Middle East, Africa, South America apart from neighbouring China and India," he said after launching the national economic outlook conference by the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research.

MIDA is working on an investment mission drive to tap areas with excess or surplus capital.
"In the Middle East, for example, we will have special missions during which we'll bring to them potential specific projects," he said.

These will include real estate, commercial development, and power generation.

He also asked the private sector, including the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers, to present specific proposals on how the government could help them.

The manufacturing sector, which accounts for 30 per cent of the total output and employment and over 70 per cent of total exports, grew by around two per cent in the third quarter of the year.

Muhyiddin remarked that although manufacturing exports showed weakness, domestic industries continue to register strong growth, in particular, the transport equipment, construction-related products and food industries.

By Business Times (by Rupa Damodaran)

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