KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 4 — Malaysia’s trade surplus in October 2019 rose 2.8 per cent to RM17.33 billion, compared with RM16.85 billion registered in October 2018, the 264th consecutive months of trade surplus since November 1997.
In a statement today, the International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti) said total trade decreased by 7.6 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM163.86 billion; imports declined 8.7 per cent while exports contracted by 6.7 per cent.
However, Miti said Malaysia’s exports in October 2019 stood at RM90.59 billion, the highest monthly export value recorded in 2019.
“Higher exports were registered to Singapore, Taiwan, the United States (US) and Russian Federation while lower exports were recorded to Australia, China, Japan, Thailand and India,” it said.
Exports of manufactured goods in October 2019 which attributed 85.8 per cent of total exports contracted by 4.5 per cent to RM77.76 billion, while exports of optical and scientific equipment hit a new monthly record high of RM4.03 billion, with a double-digit expansion of 17.6 per cent from October 2018.
Miti said exports of mining goods declined by 24.6 per cent to RM6.78 billion, mainly due to declining exports of crude petroleum, on account of lower export volume and Average Unit Value (AUV).
However, exports of crude petroleum grew by RM294.4 million to Singapore.
It said exports of agriculture goods were lower by 8.9 per cent to RM5.57 billion mainly due to contraction in exports of palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products, especially palm oil, while exports of palm oil recorded a contraction of 9.8 per cent y-o-y to RM3.26 billion, as a result of the decline in export volume and AUV.
Trade with Asean in October 2019 decreased by 6.3 per cent y-o-y to RM45.93 billion, with exports lower by 2.8 per cent to RM26.69 billion, while imports contracted by 10.7 per cent to RM19.25 billion.
Trade with China in October 2019 which represented 16.8 per cent of Malaysia’s total trade or RM27.46 billion, decreased by 8.6 per cent y-o-y; exports contracted by 11 per cent at RM13.59 billion and imports declined by 6.2 per cent to RM13.87 billion.
Trade with the US rose by 4.6 per cent to RM15.13 billion; exports to the US continued to grow for seven straight months with an increase of 2.7 per cent y-o-y to RM8.87 billion while imports gained by 7.5 per cent to RM6.26 billion.
Trade with the European Union decreased by 9.2 per cent y-o-y to RM14.35 billion; exports amounted to RM8.12 billion, contracted by 5.2 per cent while imports totalled RM6.23 billion, lower by 13.8 per cent.
Trade with Japan contracted by 10.1 per cent y-o-y to RM11.02 billion; exports totalled RM5.42 billion, decreased by 20.1 per cent while imports rose by 2.3 per cent to RM5.6 billion.
For the month under review, trade with Free Trade Agreement partners declined by 8.9 per cent y-o-y; exports decreased 10.6 per cent to RM54.61 billion while imports contracted by 6.9 per cent to RM47.7 billion.
Source : The Malay Mail
PUTRAJAYA (Nov 29): The Malaysian film industry is in for better times following the signing of a co-production agreement between Malaysia and Australia in Sydney today.
Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo said that with the signing of the agreement, Malaysian productions will be seen as Australian productions to facilitate penetration of markets of other countries that have signed similar agreements with Australia.
He said Australia has co-production agreements with countries like Canada, China, Singapore, Italy, Germany and United Kingdom.
"It will also enable close collaboration which will help in raising quantity and quality of co-productions between the two countries,” Gobind said in a statement here in conjunction with the signing of the agreement.
The agreement was signed by Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah and his Australian counterpart Marise Payne.
"This is a good initiative because it will help the Malaysian creative industry in opening up more opportunities and new business spaces for our film industry players with Australia and other related countries in the future," said Gobind.
According to him, the discussions on the collaboration was spearheaded by the Communications and Multimedia Ministry (KKMM) since 2007 but no agreement was reached until the new (Pakatan Harapan) Government took over (in 2018).
The PH Government took the steps needed to make the initiative a success, he said.
He noted that apart from helping transfer expertise to local productions, the initiative would also help reduce the risk of losses through sharing cost of production by industry players in both countries.
Gobind said the agreement would also help generate economic growth via increased job opportunities and income for local production houses and supporting services like companies that rent out film-making equipment, the hotel and catering industries and transport rental companies.
"It will also benefit other industries that are involved directly or indirectly with our nation's film industry,” he said.
Gobind said the agreement would also lead to cultural and creativity exchanges between both countries as well as provide exposure to Malaysian writers.
"They can showcase their talents in terms of acting, direction, script writing, editing and other fields related to the industry. This is expected to happen,” he added.
According to Gobind, the agreement also takes into consideration the existing mechanisms and facilities on taxation between Malaysia and Australia and will involve the aspects of the law, immigration, import and export of equipment for film production and matters pertaining to getting permits to shoot films.
"I hope it will help generate outcomes that are more productive and meaningful for Malaysia and Australia's film industries," he added.
Besides Australia, Gobind said KKMM was also now in discussions with several other countries to forge similar collaborations to strengthen the Malaysian film industry at the global level in the future.
Source : The Edge Markets
A formal inauguration ceremony in Shah Alam, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur today (Monday 18 November 2019) has ushered in a new era for Malaysian higher education by officially welcoming the KDU University Colleges into the University of Wollongong (UOW) global network, launching the new UOW Malaysia KDU brand, celebrating UOW’s establishment as a direct provider in Malaysia’s vibrant education sector and opening up new international education and research opportunities for Malaysian students and academics.
Held at the Glenmarie Campus, the inauguration was an important milestone in the transition of the private university colleges of KDU from Paramount Corporation Berhad (PCB) by UOW subsidiary UOW Global Enterprises under a deal which was approved by the Malaysian Ministry of Education and first announced in November 2018 and completed in September this year.
Australia’s Minister for Education, the Honourable Dan Tehan MP and Malaysia’s Director General of Higher Education, Ministry of Education Malaysia, YBhg Dautk Ir. Dr Siti Hamisah, were present as guests of honour to oversee the ceremony.
University leaders attending the event also included UOW Chancellor, Ms Jillian Broadbent AC, Chairman of UOW Malaysia, Mr Noel Cornish AM, UOW Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Paul Wellings CBE, Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Joe Chicharo, UOW Global Enterprises Managing Director and Group CEO, Marisa Mastroianni, UOW Global Enterprises CEO Asia, Jennifer Ng, and the Vice-Chancellors of UOW Malaysia KDU’s University College, Professor Dr. Hiew Pang Leung and Penang University College, Dr. Professor Chong Beng Keok.
As well as marking the occasion by unveiling of a commemorative plaque, the ceremony showcased KDU’s reputation for hospitality education – revealing the new UOW Malaysia KDU brand in an ice sculpture.
A sample of Australian fauna was also introduced to the urban Glenmarie campus in the form of a set of statues depicting five wallabies, presented as a gift from UOW Australia.
The indigenous Australian marsupial likenesses will be installed on the campus grounds to complement similar statues on display at the UOW’s bushland garden campus in Wollongong, Australia, which houses UOW’s global headquarters.
Professor Wellings said the inauguration was an auspicious milestone for the University that will benefit KDU staff and students as well as Malaysia more broadly.
“The University of Wollongong has a successful 10-year track record providing world-class tertiary education to Malaysian students both onshore and offshore. We are very proud to already have over 5,000 Malaysian Alumni.
“The University of Wollongong is committed to enabling current KDU students to achieve timely, uninterrupted completion of their studies and aims to be an employer of choice for staff in Malaysia by offering development and career growth opportunities.
“We intend to leverage our global profile to introduce new undergraduate and post graduate programs to the UOW Malaysia KDU campuses in the years ahead, as well as creating international education and research opportunities.
“The transition we celebrate today will not only enhance UOW’s global network, but also contribute to realising the Malaysian Ministry of Education’s vision of creating a higher education system that enables Malaysia to compete more effectively in the global economy,” Professor Wellings said.
The KDU campuses comprising UOW Malaysia KDU College, UOW Malaysia KDU University College and UOW Malaysia KDU Penang University College, now form part of UOW Global Enterprises alongside University of Wollongong in Dubai, established in 1993 and UOW College Hong Kong, which began with the acquisition of the Community College of Hong Kong’s City University in 2015 and was rebranded in November 2017. UOW has 18,000 students studying at these campuses.
Source: Mirage News
KOTA KINABALU: The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) hope the Malaysia-Australia Exercise (Mastex) which was launched on Wednesday, would enhance their bilateral relationship, interoperability and capacity as well as have a better understanding on shore and at sea.
The Mastex opening ceremony was officiated by RMN Eastern Fleet Command’s Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations, Captain Azhar Baharum at the Sepanggar naval base.He said Mastex, which started Tuesday, was carried out biennially to strengthen military relations between Malaysia and Australia.The nine-day exercise are divided into two phases starting with the Harbour Phase on Oct 29 to Nov 1 followed by the Sea Phase from Nov 2 to 4.
“The first phase involving exercise planning and Subject Matter Expert (SME) before executing all the plans made during the Sea Phase,” he said in a media conference.Mastex involves a total of 500 sailors from both sides, two RMN ships namely KD Kelantan and KD Lekiu, and two Royal Australian Navy (RAN) vessels, HMAS Stuart commanded by Commander Luke Ryan and HMAS Sirius commanded by Commander Melanie Verho.Also present was the Assistant Defence Advisor to the High Commissioner of Australia to Malaysia, Captain Doug Griffiths.According to Doug, Malaysian armed forces are working very hard to maintain the security and they are doing a very good job with that.“RMN and RAN should continue the long standing history of interoperability with a history diving back over 60 years of cooperation,” he said
He added that Mastex is another manifestation of the continued effort between the two navy to work together regionally for regional cooperation and security.“Australia works with a lot of regional partners to enhance interoperability between our forces to enhance regional security and Malaysia is a very strong partner of Australia and it has been for many years and will do so into the future,” he said.Meanwhile, HMAS Sirius commanding officer said their ships were excited to arrive in beautiful Sabah.“It is one of many countries in the region we are visiting, we are one of the 11 ships of the RAN and over thousands of sailors are currently active in Southeast and Northeast Asia.“For us though, this is a real highlight of our three months of deployment to the region,” he said adding that they are going to visit the natural beauty of Sabah and to interact socially and professionally with the RMN officers.
The objective of the exercise is to provide an opportunity for the RMN to exchange ideas, enhance the military’s military efficiency, strengthen bilateral relations between Malaysia-Australia and collectively contribute to enhancing regional maritime defence security collectively. In addition to the implementation of the exercise, the RAN stop-over can also increase the state’s revenue and generate income for the local industry.
Source: Daily Express
KUALA LUMPUR: Gamuda Bhd is buying a 50 per cent stake in Australia-based Martinus Rail Pty Ltd, allowing it to take advantage of significant pipeline of construction projects in the country.
Martinus Rail is the largest independent, privately owned, specialist rail constructor in Australia with the relevant accreditation, track record and resources to achieve even greater success in the industry.
Gamuda said its unit Gamuda Engineering Australia and Martinus Rail would jointly tender for infrastructure jobs immediately.
“This acquisition provides a springboard for Gamuda to contribute towards infrastructure development in Australia, especially in the railway industry, in addition to the upcoming metro tunnels and tolled road projects.
“This is similar to what we have successfully achieved in other nation building projects which have sustainably benefited the local supply chain in the economic and social segments.
“We expect to be tendering more than A$20 billion of work over the next year or so,” said Gamuda Engineering managing director (MD) Datuk Ubull Din Om in a statement yesterday.
Martinus Rail has built up a strong brand in the rail space, with the successful delivery of large rail projects exceeding A$200 million in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.
Treaven Martinus, MD of Martinus Rail Group said the two companies had complementary strengths in infrastructure construction.
“We are excited by the prospect of bringing innovation and technology from a world-class rail infrastructure company like Gamuda to the Australian rail industry, and combining it with our extensive local experience to become Australia’s leading rail contractor.”
Australia’s senior trade and investment commissioner to Malaysia Daniel Havas said the investment highlighted the continued growth in the two-way commercial relationship and Malaysia’s confidence in Australia’s continued infrastructure development pipeline estimated at A$300 billion”.
According to the BIS Oxford Economic Report published in July, rail infrastructure works in Australia were expected to grow 14 per cent per annum until 2023.
Beyond that, railway works will be supported by expected networks to the Melbourne and Western Sydney Airports, as well as continued construction of the Inland Rail, Sydney Metro West and Geelong Fast Rail.
Source: New Straits Time
CANBERRA, Aug 20 – Malaysia welcomes the review of the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement (MAFTA) but any effort to do so will only be considered after the negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) have been concluded.
Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Darell Leiking said MAFTA had benefited businesses, investors and consumers through the reduction and elimination of tariffs and increased access for trade and investment.
“It has also allowed open market access to various industries and services in both our countries,” he said at the 18th Australia-Malaysia Joint Trade Committee (JTC) meeting with Australia’s Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Senator Simon Birmingham here today.
He said Malaysia, therefore, welcomed the review of MAFTA but priority is being given in concluding the multilateral RCEP.
“Since both parties are currently negotiating RCEP towards its conclusion by the end of this year, we may consider having the review only after RCEP is concluded,” he said.
He added that both parties must also have clear objectives and parameters if such a review is going to be taken.
Both ministers also directed officials to convene the Joint Commission of the bilateral Malaysia-Australia FTA early next year to take stock of the bilateral trade and investment issues including the parameters for a future general review of MAFTA.
During the meeting, a few issues faced by Malaysian and Australian companies were raised including market access and mutual recognition of standards.
Darell seeks cooperation from Australia to recognise and accept the Good Manufacturing Practice certificates issued by the Malaysian National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) and would welcome collaboration between NPRA and Australian Therapeutic Good Administration.
“With regards to the issue of standards, we hope Australia will consider Malaysia’s request to have mutual recognition agreements for standards,” he said.
The minister said the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) has also been working closely with the Australian Government through the Halal Task Force Working Group.
“We welcome collaboration between Malaysia and Australia in tapping into the global halal market which is estimated to be worth more than US$2.3 trillion (US$1=RM4.18), with the halal food sector alone estimated to be worth nearly US$700 million,” he said.
He also reiterated Malaysia’s commitment to ensure the country remained an open economy and friendly to businesses, including Australian investors.
He said the business community is encouraged to partner with the government to improve the business environment.
Meanwhile, Darell had also touched on the RCEP, requesting all parties involved in the negotiations to demonstrate flexibilities with the guiding principle that RCEP is ASEAN-driven.
“It is critical to deliberate and decide on outstanding issues from Jakarta round onwards that are critical to some governments for them to announce conclusion of negotiations in November,” he said.
On Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Darell said Malaysia as the host in 2020 would be delivering the key message of “Shared Prosperity” that would be embraced in all the priority areas and initiatives carried out in the hosting year.
He said this would be done through emphasis on “Shared Responsibility”.
“The message underscores the need to address the unequal distribution of economic growth between and within the APEC economies in the age of digital disruption,” he said.
He said the enablers in the form of priority areas have been narrowed down to three broad areas, namely improving the narrative of trade and investment, inclusive economic participation through digital economy and technology, and driving innovative sustainability.
On the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Darell said Malaysia is still evaluating the agreement and that the country do not have a specific date for ratification.
He said the new government has also yet to decide on whether Malaysia would ratify the agreement.
RCEP is a multilateral trade agreement between the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) – Malaysia, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, and its six FTA partners — China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and India.
The agreement would encompass 30 per cent of global gross domestic product, 3.5 billion people and eclipse the CPTPP.
Last year, Australia was Malaysia’s 11th largest overall global trading partner, with total trade between both countries recorded at RM55.13 billion.
In terms of investments, 350 manufacturing projects were implemented with total investments of RM2.79 billion, creating 22,626 jobs in Malaysia in key manufacturing sectors such as chemical-based products, petroleum-based products and rubber-based products.
Source: Malay Mail
KUALA LUMPUR: International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Darell Leiking will lead a trade and investment mission to Australia from August 19 - 23.
The mission comprises officials from the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), Malaysian Investment Development Authority, Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation, Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii), InvestKL Corporation and EXIM Bank.
In a statement today, MITI said Darell is scheduled to meet with Andrew Barr, Chief Minister of Australian Capital Territory in Canberra.
In conjunction with the mission, the 18th Joint Trade Commission (JTC) Meeting will be held on August 20, to be co-chaired by Darell and his counterpart, Simon Birmingham, Australia’s Minister of Trade, Tourism and Investment.
The meeting will be held to discuss bilateral trade and investment issues and opportunities for further collaborations.
Darell and the delegates will also be visiting the University of South Australia (UniSA), Mawson Lakes Campus to gain an insight on UniSA Industry 4.0 Lab Space and MARii’s projects – the Light Weight Plastic Glazing Project and the Hard Coating Project (flow coating).
Additionally, the minister will be visiting the Swinburne University of Technology’s Advanced Manufacturing Industry 4.0 Hub, also known as the ‘Factory of the Future’ for being the first ever fully-immersed Industry 4.0 facility in Australia.
He will also be meeting with prominent business groups in sectors such as food and beverages, healthcare, machinery, Halal hub and aged care centre.
During his visit, Darell will connect with strategic partners during a seminar on ‘Business & Investment Opportunities in Malaysia as the Gateway to Asean’.
In 2018, Australia was Malaysia’s 11th largest overall global trading partner, with total trade between both countries recorded at RM55.13 billion (US$13.11 billion).
Malaysia’s exports to Australia stood at RM33.55 billion (US$7.98 billion) and imports at RM21.58 billion (US$5.13 billion) last year.
In terms of investments, 350 manufacturing projects were implemented with total investments of RM2.79 billion (US$660 million).
The projects created 22,626 jobs in Malaysia in key manufacturing sectors such as chemical-based products, petroleum-based products and rubber-based products.
KUALA LUMPUR: The Pakatan Harapan Government has officially announced that it has renewed Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd’s operating licence for six months but subject to certain conditions.
In a statement today, the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (LPTA) announced that the decision came after a public statement made by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad that the Cabinet had decided to extend the company’s licence.
Amongst the terms and conditions is a requirement that Lynas come up with a plan to build a “Cracking and Leaching” facility overseas so that the company can move the process — currently being done at Gebeng, Kuantan — there.
Overseas Cracking and Leaching facilities must be constructed and commenced within four years from the date the licence is renewed on Sept 3, 2019.
“After the overseas Cracking and Leaching facility commences operation, the licence holder will not be allowed to produce radioactive residual of more than one Becquerel per gram at its plant in Gebeng, Kuantan,” LPTA said.
LPTA also said Lynas is required to identify a specific site within the country to build a Permanent Disposal Facility (PDF), and obtain written approval from the relevant State Government for the site to be used as a PDF.
“The licensee must also submit a complete PDF construction plan as well as a financing plan to cover the entire construction and operation of the PDF, or submit a formal written permission from the relevant authority of any country allowing it to ship the residual Water Leach Purification (WLP) to the said country.”
LPTA said Lynas is required to terminate all research and development (R&D) activities related to the recycling of WLP radioactive residual as Condisoil in the agriculture sector industry.
It is also required to surrender to the Federal government 0.5% of its annual gross sales (previously a fixed expenditure for R&D) as additional collateral until the overseas Cracking and Leaching facility begins operation.
“These terms were decided after the Federal Government of Australia and the State Government of Western Australia informed Malaysia that they would not accept the return of Lynas’ radioactive WLP residues,” it said.
LTPA said the above terms are also based on the recommendations made by the Lynas Advance Materials Plant Executive Review Committee on Operations in its November 2018 report.
“PDF construction needs to be accelerated to minimize the risk of accumulating WLP radioactive residues now exceeding 580,000 tonnes at residue storage facilities (RSFs), which are vulnerable to threats of natural disaster such as floods.
“The LPTA will closely monitor and ensure the construction and operation of the PDF is in accordance with international standards,” it pledged.
Source: The Edge Markets
The magazine revealed that they based the rankings on 11 different factors, which include workforce, freedom (personal, trade, and monetary), technological readiness, infrastructure, quality of life, corruption, taxes, investor protection and red tape, reported The Sun Daily.
Among 67 countries evaluated, Malaysia appeared to be the most attractive destination for business people and investors.
Poland came in second, while the Philippines, Indonesia and Australia followed.
Meanwhile, Singapore placed sixth, followed by India, the Czech Republic, Spain, and Thailand. Earning the 16th, 18th, 24th, and 32nd spots were the UK, US, China and Japan.
CEOWORLD magazine annually ranks the world based on different categories ranging from the best universities to the richest people, top executives and top companies.
IPOH, July 10 — Malaysia has been crowned the best country to invest in or start a business this year, according to the CEOWORLD Magazine.
CEOWORLD Magazine reported on its website that Malaysia ranked first among 67 countries as it continues to be the most attractive destination for investors and businessmen.
“The rankings were based on 11 different factors, including corruption, freedom (personal, trade, and monetary), workforce, investor protection, infrastructure, taxes, quality of life, red tape, and technological readiness,” the report read.
“Each category was equally weighted,” the report added.
Poland took silver, followed by the Philippines with bronze, while Indonesia and Australia settle for the fourth and fifth place respectively.
“The rankings had Singapore in sixth place, followed by India, Czech Republic, Spain, and Thailand.
“The United Kingdom, the United States, China, and Japan ranked 16th, 18th, 24th, and 32nd, respectively, among the world’s best countries to invest in or do business for 2019,” the post further read.
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