Germany To Further Boost Economic Ties With Malaysia, Says Envoy
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 27 (Bernama) -- Germany hopes to further enhance economic ties with Malaysia and remain its number one trading partner from the European Union (EU).
Its Ambassador to Malaysia, Dr.Guenter Gruber, said Malaysian-German ties have always been excellent with Germany being one of the first countries to recognise Malaysia after its independence.
"Germany is Malaysia's number one trading partner in the EU and is very interested in building on this," he told Bernama here.
Businesses in Germany are also very pro-active about Malaysia, Gruber said.
The Memorandum of Understanding recently signed between Volkswagen AG and DRB Hicom Bhd is one example, he said.
He cited a few more examples of major German interest in Malaysia, including the recent announcement of BASF to enhance their relationship with Petronas, as well as LFoundry's interest to invest in Kulim.
"The major investments by BBraun, SGL Group, Q-Cells... I could go on and on. As you can see, my optimism is well founded," he pointed out.
On his meeting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Gruber said: "We discussed the potential of our bilateral relations in all aspects. I am convinced that Malaysia will look to all partners, from Europe to the Middle East, the East Asia and the United States, and strengthen the positive ties with all these regions."
He said Malaysia was also among the world leaders in many areas, from solar cell production to its biodiversity.
He said it was also time for the country to leave the "middle income trap".
"Malaysia can pull this of as well, being endowed with rich resources, good infrastructure and great citizens."
Currently, there are about 350 German companies operating in Malaysia.
Germany is also Malaysia's 9th largest trading partner in the world.
In 2009, trade between Malaysia and Germany amounted to US$9.4 billion, representing a decline of 12.1 per cent compared to 2008 as a result of the global economic slowdown.
However, bilateral trade in 2010 had shown strong signs of recovery with trade in the first quarter amounting to US$2.6 billion, representing a 22 per cent year-on-year growth.