Economy, Business And Markets

Malaysian Trade Body Encouraging Iran Ties

Malaysian Trade Body Encouraging Iran Ties
Malaysian Trade Body Encouraging Iran Ties

Malaysia’s External Trade Development Corporation, MATRADE, has urged Malaysian lenders to support domestic companies’ trade and investment in post-sanctions Iran.

“International economic sanctions on Iran have been lifted and Malaysian lenders should facilitate trade with Iran for Malaysian companies,” Dzulkifli Mahmud, MATRADE’s CEO was quoted as saying by Utusan Online on Thursday, IRNA reported.

The official pointed to the negative mood against the prospects of doing business with Iran during the sanctions, stating that Malaysian companies should get ready for business with Iran. “Hesitating to seize the opportunities of Iran’s market will hurt Malaysian companies. We should work hard to compete with European and American companies over the good opportunities existing in Iran’s markets,” the news agency quoted him as saying.

 He noted that European and American companies have already started investing in Iran which shows the Middle East country is regarded as a stable and safe zone for business and trade by leading international companies.

 “Many countries including those in the EU and the US are competing to restore business ties with Iran. The sanctions are over and we should not hesitate in revamping economic and trade ties with Iran.”

Stressing the importance of Iran’s market to Malaysia’s trade, he called on Malaysian banks to help expand Malaysian companies’ role and presence in Iran’s market. Mahmud predicted a 15% increase in Iran-Malaysia trade saying his organization has prepared several schemes to help encourage trade between the two nations. “We are especially interested in expanding ties in oil and gas, food products and transportation fields.”  He stressed the importance of diversifying Malaysia’s trade partners calling for close trade with Iran. He is expected to visit Iran at he head of an economic delegation in May which is part of MATRADE’s plan to promote business while clearing the way for a more active role for Malaysian companies in the 80-million Iranian market.

Two-way trade saw a 12% surge in total value in 2015 standing at about $ 487 million. However, Malaysia’s total imports from Iran was down by 25.6% at about $ 34 million during the period.

In recent months the German and British governments, among others, have also called on their respective countries’ banks to get over their hesitation in doing business with Iran.