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Malaysian companies can leverage on the vast business possibilities that are available in Brazil, International Trade and Industry (MITI) secretary-general Datuk Seri J. Jayasiri said. NST FILE PIC

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian companies can leverage on the vast business possibilities that are available in Brazil, International Trade and Industry (MITI) secretary-general Datuk Seri J. Jayasiri said.

He said over the years, Malaysian companies have already made significant footprints in Brazil, particularly in the construction, oil and gas as well as the rubber gloves industries with investments over US$3.6 billion.

"I think we can do much more on the trade and investment front. I hope our businesses will expand and diversify their activities in Brazil by availing themselves to various opportunities, including the prospects for strategic partnerships," he told reporters in a press conference at the launch of Malaysia-Brazil Business Council here today.

The launch was attended by 120 participants comprising representatives of Brazilian and Malaysian companies, ambassadors, embassy officials and officials from ministries and related agencies.

On trade number between the two countries, Malaysia's total trade with Brazil grew 11.5 per cent to RM12.7 billion last year, further consolidating Brazil's position as the main trading partner of Malaysia in Latin America.

Exports to Brazil also registered a growth of 24.2 per cent to RM3.66 billion in 2017 while Brazil's investment in Malaysia totals over US$1.4 billion mainly in the mining and processed food sectors.

The Malaysia-Brazil Business Council was launched today by the its chairman Tan Sri Shahril Shamsuddin in an event hosted by the Embassy of Brazil in Malaysia in partnership with MITI.

"The Council will be a forum for members to exchange ideas and share experiences, said Shahril, who is also the group chief executive officer of Sapura Energy Bhd.

"Through our network, we aim to promote greater Malaysian-Brazil business cooperation by acting as an effective conduit for business entities that have keen business interests.

The pioneer members of the council are Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas), Sapura Energy Bhd, Vale Malaysia Minerals Sdn Bhd, BRF/OneFoods Sdn Bhd, Scomi Group Bhd, Marfrig/MacFood Services Sdn Bhd, Supermax Corp Bhd, WEG S. A, TTH Dynamic Sdn Bhd, Marcopolo SA, Careglove Global Sdn Bhd, Binwani's Fashion Group and Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL).

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