Malaysia, Pakistan to boost trade

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia and Pakistan pledged to increase their bilateral economic relations and trades which have vast potential for growth after a joint-business council meeting here.

Malaysia, Pakistan Business Council chairman Datuk Mohammad Salim Fateh Din said both countries had agreed to explore avenues for joint ventures in sectors such as agriculture, construction and halal industry. “We hope to clear some bottlenecks and chokepoints in our business relations and above all, to come away with positive solutions and taking concrete actions.”

He said after signing of Malaysia, Pakistan Closer Economic Partnership Agreement in 2007, total trade had been averaging around 25% in annual growth. “Trade grew almost three folds from 2006 to 2010 (from US$873.3mil (RM2.6bil) to US$2.48bil (RM7.4bil). Last year, bilateral trade was at $2.81bil (RM8.4bil), a value that has surpassed trade peak set in 2010.”

Salim said Malaysia’s foreign direct investments in Pakistan totalled about US$820mil (RM2.5bil) as at December, 2010 while approved Pakistan investment in Malaysia totalled about US$300mil (RM900mil). He said scale of trade for both sides should and could be further balanced and going much higher with more initiatives being taken by both governments as well as through support from relevant business councils from both countries.

Meanwhile, Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) President & CEO Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohammad Noh said TNB would like to explore for more business opportunities in Pakistan after resolving some “challenges issues” it faced there. “There are some power purchase agreement issues that need to be reviewed with Pakistan authority but we hope to resolve it soon. Once done, we will be exploring for more opportunities in Pakistan as the country needs lot of power for its growing economy.”

TNB operates 235-MW natural gas-fired Liberty power plant in Pakistan’s Sindh province through its own unit TNB Liberty Power Ltd. It started commercial operations in Sep 2001. Pakistan currently has about 5000MW power supply shortage. Khalib said with TNB’s over 10 year experience in Pakistan, power shortage offered huge potential for business investments.

Leave a Reply