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Consul General: Great future for Malaysia-German relationship
FRANKFURT: Malaysia’s relations with Germany has a "great future" not only in trade and economic relations but also in other areas of interest, particularly education.
"I believe there is great future in relations with Europe’s economic powerhouse and Malaysia, a key member country of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations).
"Both sides have good fundamentals for forging a close cooperation in various areas of interest," said John Samuel, the Frankfurt-based Malaysian consul general, in an interview with Bernama at his office. "We need to inject a new element to provide a strong growth momentum to our bilateral relations. I believe education is one area which will drive bilateral ties to the next level.
"Indeed, I think cooperation in the field of education and tourism needs to be intensified," Samuel said.
The German industry is looking for markets in Asia because Europe is mired in a crisis and the opportunities available in Germany’s direct neighbourhood are limited.
In addition to China and India, which appeal to the majority of German companies, there is also a growing engagement by the German industry in the Asean region which, as a market of some 600 million consumers, is an attractive proposition for it. Bilateral trade with Germany in 2011 amounted to RM40.37 billion, accounting for 3.2 per cent of Malaysia’s total foreign trade.
Germany-Malaysia trade in the first quarter of 2012 amounted to RM10.41 billion; Malaysia’s exports amounted to RM4.28 billion and imports from Germany RM6.13 billion.
Over 300 German companies maintain a physical representation in Malaysia, of which 70 have production operations while many German companies, increasingly, use Malaysia as a regional hub for Southeast Asia. -- BERNAMA