KUALA LUMPUR (July 9): Several Austrian companies have expressed interest to invest in Malaysia due to its strategic position as a gateway to the Asia Pacific region, according to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI).
In a statement today, it said that Senior Minister-cum-International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali had met his Austrian counterpart, Federal Minister for Digital and Economic Affairs Dr Margarete Schramböck, during his Trade and Investment Mission (TIM) in Vienna to explore growth areas for bilateral trade and investment.
MITI said an Establishment of Focal Points was signed on July 8, 2021, where elected senior officials would have direct dialogues and exchange of ideas to further expand trade and investment opportunities, as well as to intensify economic cooperation.
As Malaysia is focusing on environmental, social and governance issues (ESG), MITI said Azmin also assured Dr Schramböck that Malaysia would facilitate interest by Austrian companies renowned for placing clean energy at the forefront of their products and services.
Meanwhile, the Ministry said Azmin had visited the headquarters of Austria Technologie & Systemtechnik AG (AT&S) in Loeben, and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between MITI and AT&S focusing on cooperation in teaching and training in production, as well as research on high-end technologies.
Last month, it was reported that AT&S had chosen Malaysia as its first production plant in Southeast Asia to produce integrated circuit (IC) substrates, with a projected total investment value of RM8.5 billion.
During the TIM, MITI said Azmin also had a roundtable discussion with the Austrian Federal Economic Chambers (WKO), in which the Senior Minister concurred that there was an urgent need to intensify strategic engagements of business-to-business cooperation, particularly in industries such as smart manufacturing, artificial intelligence, aerospace industry, medical devices, and renewable energy.
Aside from that, it said that Azmin also had discussions with Stellantis N.V., an automotive manufacturing corporation with manufacturing facilities in 30 countries and more than 300,000 employees.
“The discussion centred on how best Stellantis could enhance their investments, particularly which are in line with Malaysia’s National Investment Aspirations which promotes electric vehicle (EV) through customised incentives that include completely built-up (CBU) bridging prior to the preparation of the completely-knocked-down (CKD) production,” it said.
According to MITI, Malaysia’s total trade with Austria surged 32.2% to RM1.31 billion in the first five months of this year despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
“For the rest of the year, the prospects for further enhancements of bilateral trade are bright between Malaysia and Austria, especially in sectors that will propel Malaysia’s footprint in the digital and hi-tech industries,” it said.
Source : The Edge Markets – 9 July 2021 (Friday)