By Muhammet Emin Horuz
ISTANBUL (AA) - The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) recently launched its office in Istanbul which was inaugurated by Malaysia’s Senior Minister and Minister of International Trade and Industry.
Dato' Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali gave the opening address, saying the creation of MIDA's Istanbul office served two very fundamental and critical purposes.
He said that first, it plays an instrumental role as a gateway for businesses that wish to expand their commercial interests and investment horizons in Türkiye and beyond, including in adjoining regions like the Middle East and the European Union.
Secondly, the office will serve as a magnet to draw more investments to Malaysia from Türkiye and the surrounding region, boosting Malaysia's position as a launching pad for expansion throughout the ASEAN region and beyond.
"The opening of MIDA's office in Istanbul comes just in time in order to fully exploit the potential upside for enhanced Turkish investments in manufacturing and services, particularly in the areas of advanced manufacturing, machinery and equipment, aerospace, digital investment, ICT and food manufacturing, including the halal segment,” he said.
Ali noted that the Free Trade Agreement signed between Malaysia and Türkiye in 2014 and which went into effect in 2015 included a pact on trade, goods and technological and economic collaboration. He said that by 2023, nearly 99% of the items exported from Türkiye will be duty-free.
"It gives Türkiye a significant edge over nations with which we do not have a free trade agreement," he said.
"Türkiye is a very important trade partner for us. Türkiye is our third largest commercial partner in the region. I believe there is a huge potential between the two countries," he added.
Ahmet Burak Daglioglu, head of the Presidential Investment Office, noted that in recent years, approximately $1 billion of international direct investment from Malaysia to Türkiye has been realized in various sectors, primarily energy, finance, infrastructure and transportation, retail and health.
"In addition to these industries, we see that interest-free lending and technological entrepreneurship have promising investment prospects. Our overall trade volume has doubled in just six years thanks to the Free Trade Agreement, which became effective in August 2015," he said.
According to MIDA CEO Datuk Wira Arham Abdul Rahman, MIDA not only seeks out new partnerships that would aid in the development of Malaysia but also provides new investment prospects to the nation. He noted that the establishment of MIDA's Istanbul office will help it extend its outreach programs with trading partners of Türkiye including Russia, Greece, Azerbaijan, Georgia and the seven “Stan” countries in Central Asia -- Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
As of June this year, a total of 14 manufacturing projects had been approved in terms of Türkiye’s investments in Malaysia with total investments worth $156.3 million.
The sectors of the approved manufacturing projects include scientific and measuring equipment, textiles and textiles products, chemical and chemical products, food manufacturing, and electrical and electronics products.
In Malaysia, four manufacturing projects with Turkish investments worth $111.6 million have been implemented.
In the first half of this year, Malaysia attracted a total of $28 billion worth of investments in the manufacturing, services and primary sectors involving 1,714 projects for the period of January to June which is expected to create 57,771 job opportunities in the country.
Of the total investment amount, around $20 billion came from foreign direct investments, while $8 billion came from domestic investments.