ICI Discussed about Business and Investment Opportunities in Malaysia Country Day Event
Istanbul Chamber of Industry organized a Malaysia Country Day and Investment Opportunities Seminar in order to introduce the investment and business opportunities in Malaysia, one of the most powerful economies of Southeastern Asia to the Turkish industrialists. Arhan Syafrisyah Shah Anvar, the charge d'affaires of Malaysia Embassy in Ankara participated in the event which was organized in Odakule and hosted by Vehbi Canpolat, ICI Board of Directors Member. Numerous industrialists and business people who wanted to listen the investment and cooperation opportunities both in the region and in Malaysia participated in the event.
Vehbi Canpolat who presented his speech at the beginning of the event said that the relations between Turks and Malaysian people are laid on a deep historical and cultural basis which date back to the pre-establishment of Malaysia. Reminding that one of the inspiration sources of Independence War directed in the leadership of Ataturk, the Great Leader, and Turkish Republic which was established in 1923 was the independence movements experienced in Malay peninsula prevailed by England at that period, Canpolat expressed that there has been an extensive and close relationship between Turkey and Malaysia with which diplomatic relations were established in 1964. Canpolat mentioned that both countries are in cooperation in multilateral platforms especially UN, Organization of Islamic Cooperation and D-8.
Expressing that the Free Trade Agreement which was signed when Najib Razak, the Prime Minister of Malaysia visited Turkey between the dates of 16 and 17 April 2014 entered into force on 1 August 2015, Canpolat drew attention that the agreement is the first FTA which had entered into force between Turkey and an ASEAN member country. Canpolat mentioned that the commercial relations with Malaysia which has a role as an important window looking at Asia has gained speed after the FTA.
Stating that when the economic relations between two countries are examined, the trade volume of 2019 is seen to have been realized as 2,2 billion dollars approximately, Canpolat said that when the trade potential between these two countries are taken into account, they should increase this figure up to higher levels.
Expressing that the commercial relations between Turkey and Malaysia gained another aspect with the common investment projects by going outside of export and import activities of the primary products, Canpolat added that Malaysian firms have significant investments in energy, airport, insurance and health sectors in Turkey and Malaysia has an important partner in Southeast Asia in terms of cooperation in defense industry.
Arhan Syafrisyah Shah Anvar, the Charge d'affaires of Malaysia Embassy in Ankara underlined that there is a strong relationship between two countries. Expressing that the relations between these two countries are based on mutual respect and they have common principles, Anvar stated that the visits that both country leaders realize in 2019 accelerated the relations. Mentioning that as the communication between both people increases, it will reflect to the economic relations, Anvar expressed that they should realize cooperation in order to meet their goals. Underlying that numerous researches are being conducted in defense industry, Anvar added that Malaysia wants to make use of defense industry capacity of Turkey. Anvar stated that while 95,000 people from Malaysia visited Turkey in 2018 with touristic purposes, this figure increased 120,000 in 2019 and Malaysian people really like Turkey. Stating that Malaysia has a strong investment structure and a suitable environment for carrying out business, Anvar added that they should encourage business people for making investment.
And then, a panel with the title of Malaysia Trade, Cooperation and Investment Opportunities was held. Esat Durak, the Chief Commercial Supervisor of T.R Ministry of Trade made a presentation on the general overview of Malaysia. Stating that the country has a population of 32.5 million, Durak said that Malaysia has ranked as the 12th among 190 countries in the order of Ease of Carrying out Business by World Bank. Drawing attention that foreign capital in the value of 8 billion dollars in the last year was entered to the country, Durak recorded that Malaysia realized export for 208.3 billion dollars and import for 172.2 billion dollars. Durak told that Malaysia exported electrical and electronic products, mineral fuels and oils and boilers and machinery and Malaysia import the products most of which are consisted of intermediate goods of such products. Expressing that most of the export activities are realized to Singapore, China and USA, Durak recorded that most of the import activities are realized from China, Singapore and Japan.
Rosmizah Mat Jusoh, Commercial Supervisor of Matrade Istanbul who presented a speech in the panel stated that unemployment rate is 3,3 and GDP per person is 11.339 dollars in Malaysia. Talking about the products which Malaysia produces, Jusoh expressed that 50 percent of the medical gloves and 39 percent of the palm oil in the world are provided by Malaysia. Telling that policies to draw foreign investment to the country were applied during 1970s and 80s, Jusoh said that Turkey has ranked as 24rt among their foreign trade partners. Stating that the commercial relations between two countries increased upon the free trade agreement which entered into force in 2015, Jusoh recorded that even if there has been a decrease in the last two years, there is a trade volume over 2 billion dollars in 2019 still.
Azfar Azhar, the Deputy Director of Matrade Istanbul provided information about the halal industry in Malaysia to the participants. Stating that the rate of halal products within the total export volume of Malaysia is 4 percent, Ahar recorded that they realize the most of the export activities with Singapore, China, Japan and USA.
Then a panel titled as “Experiences of Turkish Firms in Malaysia Market” chaired by Mehmet Akif Meral, Deputy Director of ICI EU and International Relations Branch was held. Halil Tokel, the Deputy Director of DEIK Turkey - Malaysia Business Council and Turkish Airlines Technical, Ceyhun Süer, Far East and Middle East Programs Director of FNSS Defense Systems and Ekrem Erdem, CFO of Evyap Sabun Yağ Gliserin shared their experiences which they went through in Malaysia. Then, panelists replied to the questions of the participants.