KUALA LUMPUR: International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Darell Leiking will lead a trade and investment mission to three South American countries next week.
The mission will cover Santiago, Chile (May 20), Buenos Aires, Argentina (May 21) as well as Brasilia and Sao Paulo, Brazil (May 22-24).
In the statement today, the International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti) said he would be joined by officials from the ministry, Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation, Malaysian Investment Development Authority and Malaysia Automotive, Robotics & IoT Institute as well as representatives from Malaysian companies.
Leveraging on his presence in the region for the Apec Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting in Valparaíso, Chile, from May 17-18, Leiking will reconnect with the governments, business chambers and associations as well as companies in Chile, Argentina and Brazil to further enhance bilateral economic and trade relations with these countries.
Miti said various discussions, including one-to-one business meetings with selected captains of industry, would be held to promote business and investment opportunities in Malaysia in potential sectors such as automotive, retail, furniture, rubber glove, halal, information and communications technology, and services.
In Brasilia, Leiking is scheduled to pay a courtesy call on Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.
In Buenos Aires, he will be making a courtesy visit to Argentine Vice President Marta Gabriela Michetti as a follow-through of their meeting in Kuala Lumpur on May 6.
In 2018, bilateral trade between Malaysia and Chile totalled RM1.32 billion, MITI said. Malaysia’s exports to Chile amounted to RM810 million while imports were valued at RM510 million.
Over 60% of exports to Chile were contributed by chemicals and chemical products, rubber products, wood products, electrical and electronic (E&E) products as well as palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products.
On the other hand, more than 60% of imports from Chile were metalliferous ores and metal scrap, seafood, fresh, chilled or frozen products, other agriculture products as well as paper and pulp products.
Meanwhile, Malaysia’s trade with Argentina reached RM5.39 billion last year with exports recorded at RM570 million and imports at RM4.81 billion.
Rubber products, E&E products, petroleum products, palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products, as well as machinery, equipment and parts, contributed almost 70 per cent of exports to Argentina.
Manufactures comprising animal feed and leather and articles of leather as well as cereals contributed 90 per cent of imports from Argentina.
As for Brazil, bilateral trade in 2018 was recorded at RM11.57 billion with exports to the country valued at RM3.64 billion and imports reaching RM7.93 billion.
E&E products, rubber products, chemicals and chemical products, palm oil-based manufactured products, as well as machinery, equipment and parts, accounted for 77% of the exports to Brazil while metalliferous ores and metal scrap, other agriculture as well as processed food contributed 82 per cent of imports. — Bernama