Malaysia-France bilateral trade has been increasing sharply, clinching a record level of four billion euros (RM16 billion) last year, French Ambassador to Malaysia Martine Dorance said today.
“Since 2009, the year when our exchanges contracted due to the collapse of world trade, we are seeing a steady progression in our bilateral exchanges with Malaysia: +24 per cent in 2010, +23 per cent in 2011,” she told Bernama.
France celebrates its National Day (Bastille Day) tomorrow.
Malaysia is now France’s second partner in Asean, with exports totalling 2.2 billion euros, mainly electronics and computer components at 1.2 billion euros).
Other sectors are rubber products and mineral products, with the highest growth sectors coming from petroleum products at 63 million euros and palm oil at 35 million euros.
In return, France’s exports to Malaysia have also touched a record level of 1.8 billion euros, mainly from aeronautics and mechanical, electrical and electronics equipment.
Other interest sectors are cars, cosmetics and food products.
“This evolution has triggered a significant increase in the number of French expatriates coming to Malaysia over the past six years,” said Dorance.
Almost 3,000 France citizens are residing in Malaysia now, with 85 per cent of them living in and around Kuala Lumpur.
The number of French tourists visiting Malaysia has also surged in recent years, touching 110,000 last year.
“But much more has to be done to promote all the variety of activities Malaysia has to offer.
“Malaysia offers a good environment, blessed with no natural threats, a good communication network and a traditionally friendly hospitality.
“The Malaysian authorities could intensify their promotion initiatives towards French captains of industry as we feel Malaysia suffers from a deficit image in France.
“So, on our part, we will be doing all we can, through various events to promote exchanges.
“Already, the number of French companies that have established business here has increased significantly over the past few years, mostly in the oil and gas, aeronautics and transport sectors,” added Dorance who assumed the post here in November last year. http://www.nst.com.my/latest/malaysia-france-bilateral-trade-on-the-surge-1.106966#