Malta, which is expected to be part of the European Union (EU) by May next year, wants to assist Malaysia in the distribution of Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Bhd (Proton) cars in Europe.
Its Finance and Economic Affairs Minister, John Dalli, said Malta can be an ideal platform for the national carmaker to further penetrate the European market.
Dalli held talks yesterday with Proton’s senior management and discussed the possibility of forming a distributorship arrangement in Malta. He is on an official visit to Malaysia from August 17 to 22.
«Proton could also use Malta to tap the North African market as well,»he told reporters after his meeting with International Trade and Industry Ministry secretary-general Datuk Abdul Razak Ramli in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Dalli was also attended a briefing on the development of the Multimedia Super Corridor.
He urged the Malaysian business community to consider investing in Malta.
The areas with potential include information and communications technology and electronics. At present, there are no Malaysian companies investing in Malta.
«Malaysian companies should seriously consider investing in Malta as it would provide them with a free passport to market their products in Europe.
«Maltese companies too can access European funding to generate and expand research facilities,» Dalli said.
Malta is one of 10 countries that have been invited to join the EU group. The other nine are Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and the Greek part of Cyprus.
Total Malaysia-Malta trade stood at around RM244.4 million last year. Malaysia’s exports to Malta amounted to RM116.7 million, with semiconductor devices accounting for 86.4 per cent of the figure. Malaysian imports from Malta totalled RM127.7 million with 97.3 per cent of them semiconductor devices.
The total value of trade between the two countries for the first half of this year was RM81.3 million. Exports stood at RM62.3 million and imports RM19 million.
Business Times (Malaysia), August 21, 2003