KUALA LUMPUR: There is a need to redraw strategies to strengthen economic, trade and investment cooperation between Malaysia and Argentina in innovative ways in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, said the Ministry of International Trade and Industry’s (MITI) Deputy secretary-general Hairil Yahri Yaacob.
Hairil Yahri said this is crucial as Argentina remains an important trading partner for Malaysia, with bilateral economic trade and investment ties continuing to grow from strength to strength despite the global economic uncertainties.
“With the pandemic here to stay for some time, there is a strong and urgent need for us to redraw strategies to strengthen our economic, trade and investment cooperation (between Malaysia and Argentina) in innovative ways.
“What matters now is to capitalise on our strong linkages to pave the way towards full post-crisis economic resumption, recovery and regeneration for both Malaysia and Argentina,“ he said in his introductory remarks during a webinar entitled ‘Malaysia and Argentina: Strengthening Bilateral Trade and Investment in the New Normal’, on Wed (Oct 14).
Hairil Yahri said the diplomatic relations between Malaysia and Argentina was established on June 7, 1967; and since then, for the past five decades, bilateral ties with Argentina including in the area of trade and investment continue to strengthen.
“Argentina is now our third-largest trading partner in Latin America, and Malaysia is Argentina’s fourth-largest trading partner in ASEAN.
“Despite Malaysia’s global trade recording negative growth between January and August this year, it is my pleasure to share (that) Malaysia’s trade with Argentina recorded positive growth of 20.4 per cent, with both exports to Argentina and imports from Argentina grew by 23.4 and 20.1 per cent, respectively,“ he said.
Hairil Yahri assured investors from Argentina that Malaysia will continue to adopt open trade and investment policies that are based on the principles of transparency, predictability, accountability and fairness.
He urged the investors to consider Malaysia’s lucrative offers, incentives and tax breaks which are highly competitive in the region, and look Malaysia as the gateway to almost 650 million population in the ASEAN market.
Meanwhile, Argentina’s Foreign Ministry’s Undersecretary for Multilateral and Bilateral Economic Negotiations, Ambassador Dr Carola Ramon-Berjano, in her introductory remarks in the webinar said both the commercial and economic relationship between Malaysia and Argentina has many potential that needs to be explored based on the solid foundations both countries have built over the last 53 years.
“Malaysia is an important partner for Argentina. We believe its role in the international economy will increase in years to come. In 2019, four out of 10 main importers for Argentina products were from the ASEAN countries,“ she added.
Ramon-Berjano also thanked the Malaysian government for allowing Argentina to regain access to the Malaysian market to export chilled and frozen beef.
The media had reported that the market had been closed in 2010 due to changes in Malaysian regulations to certify Halal products. -Bernama