By Daniel Hunter
Prime Minister David Cameron today (Thursday) landed in Malaysia to promote British business and boost trade links as part of a wider visit to South East Asia.
The first British Prime Minister to visit Malaysia since 1993, his visit signified the start of a reinvigorated political and economic relationship. The two Prime Ministers also agreed to double bilateral trade by 2016 to £8bn.
Joined by the Minister for Trade and Investment, Lord Green, the Prime Minister is leading a delegation of over 30 business leaders ranging from the construction to financial services sector and including a number of innovative small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to Japan and South East Asia.
Deals worth over £220million were announced, creating and safeguarding more than 100 UK jobs.
- UK companies AECOM and Weston Williamson signed deals worth £50.4m linked to the £10.5bn Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (KVMRT) system, Malaysia’s largest ever infrastructure project.
- Benoy is announcing it has been appointed to work on the retail component of the KL Metropolis. The company is planning the design of three mixed-use parcels of land to help form a new retail hub for the capital. Phase one is scheduled to commence late this year.
- Travelex has announced it has been awarded a licence by Bank Negara Malaysia to conduct money services businesses in Malaysia.
- UK company LIFESAVER Systems and Malaysian company H20 to sign a MOU, estimated to be worth £60m, to deliver a water treatment product which will supply fresh drinking water to the most remote villages in Malaysia by 2015. Showcasing the best of British innovation, the LIFESAVER product uses unique, patented Nanotechnology filters.
- In a boost to the life sciences sector, Malaysian life sciences company InfoValley is announcing £10m worth of R&D investment in the UK which includes the first Digital Autopsy Facility at the Bradford Public Mortuary of Bradford Metropolitan Council.
- Oil company Shell announced the signing of two Production Sharing contracts with the Malaysian state-owned oil and gas company PETRONAS over 35 years to explore offshore Sarawak. Their financial commitment over four years will be over £100million.
New and ambitious growth plans take effect this year under Malaysia’s Economic Transformation Programme. The Malaysian Government has allocated around £24billion for infrastructure, including a rail system for the Klang Valley, in which Kuala Lumpur sits. They also plan a new financial district for the capital.
“Malaysia is a rapidly-developing country with stable growth rates and a fast-growing middle class," Lord Green, who is travelling with the Prime Minister, said.
"Malaysia will become ever more important to us in the future. UK companies can and do trade very successfully in the Far East and I hope more UK companies will follow the example of the firms already doing business out here."
UK goods exports to Malaysia in 2011 were £1.46 billion, up 19 per cent compared to 2010. GDP grew 5.2 per cent in 2011. The UK is a leading investor in Malaysia with a cumulative foreign direct investment net value of £1.3 billion.
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