Hollande's visit to draw more French investments in Malaysia, says Mustapa

KUALA LUMPUR: President Francois Hollande's state visit to Malaysia will draw more French companies to invest in the country, said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

He said currently there are at least 270 French companies operating businesses in Malaysia, with an investment value of RM15 billion and in sectors that include manufacturing, services and finance.

"France is a country with a huge investment in Malaysia and also a strong superpower.

"Hence, this partnership will further enhance our business relationship. It will at the same time improve Malaysia's profile in the energy sector," he told reporters after witnessing six memorandums of understanding between the two governments here today.

The MoUs embrace the energy, solar power generation and gas sectors. Mustapa said the frequent contacts between Malaysia and France has resulted in productive bilateral outcomes.

He also said his ministry would hold continuous engagements with French companies in Malaysia.

Hollande arrived in Malaysia on Monday night. He is scheduled to leave for Jakarta tonight.

According to Mustapa, Malaysia has of late been on a weekly basis, receiving visitors from all over the world in respect of business partnerships and it included the Chairman of Alibaba Group, Jack Ma and King Salman Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia.

"This is a reflection of the confidence foreign companies have in Malaysia. As such, we expect foreign investments to increase," he added.

The MoUs signed today included that between French company Electricite de France and Tenaga Nasional Bhd.

Via the two-year MoU, both parties would benefit from sharing experiences and exchanging information on administration, management and technical aspects related to the energy sector.

Another MoU signed was between the French Group Engie, a global energy player and Sime Darby, to jointly develop business opportunities in solar energy and high-end state-of-the-art integrated facilities management services.

There was also a MoU between the Malaysian and French governments in the area of enhancing small and medium enterprises and innovative start-ups.

It was signed between Bpifrance and PlaTCOM Ventures.

France is Malaysia's fourth largest trading partner among the European Union. — Bernama