International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed (right) officiating at the 15th anniversary celebration of Scope International (M) Sdn Bhd in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. With him are (from left) Malaysia Digital Economy Corp chief operating officer Datuk Ng Wan Peng, Standard Chartered (StanChart) Bank Malaysia Bhd chairman Tan Sri Mohd Sheriff Mohd Kassim, StanChart managing director and chief executive officer Mahendra Gursahani and Scope International CEO Matthew Norris. Pic by Muhammad Asyraf Sawal

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will monitor the unfolding events in the next two years as Britain heads out of the European Union (EU).

In the immediate term, however, there were unlikely to be major disruptions to trade and investment, said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

“It’s too early to tell… but at the moment, business is as usual,” he said after the 15th anniversary celebration of Scope International (M) Sdn Bhd, here, yesterday,

He added that Malaysia was monitoring the processes the United Kingdom had to go through to exit EU, and how that would affect the market locally.

Britain, which became a member of EU in 1973, voted in a referendum last week to withdraw from the bloc.

On Malaysia’s trade with the UK, he said it was too early to talk about a free trade agreement (FTA).

“We are open to an FTA and it is certainly on the table, but we are not there yet.”

Mustapa had said in a statement last Friday Malaysia would explore the possibility of having a separate FTA with the UK since the latter would no longer be part of the Malaysia-EU FTA.

Malaysia’s trade with the UK last year stood at RM16.5 billion, or 1.1 per cent of the country’s total trade.

Meanwhile, Standard Chartered Bank (StanChart) viewed that Brexit would have less impact on its businesses in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

StanChart Malaysia Bhd chairman Tan Sri Mohd Sheriff Mohd Kassim said it did not see the decision affecting its ability to serve customers.

“So, quite frankly for us, Brexit is less of an impact. Obviously, there is going to be a wider, far-reaching impact of what Brexit might do to the economy in the UK and Europe,” he said.

Scope International, a unit of StanChart, plans to invest some US$30 million (RM123 million) in its centre, here, which provides dedicated world-class technology, software and system development, information technology support services, banking operations, situational awareness and response capabilities to businesses globally.

Scope International is the first global shared services centre of an international bank in Malaysia.