Kuala Lumpur (VNA) – Several Austrian companies have expressed interest in making investment in Malaysia due to its strategic position as a gateway to the Asia Pacific region, according to the Malaysian Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI).

In a statement on July 9, the ministry said that Senior Minister-cum-International Trade and Industry Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali had met his Austrian counterpart, Federal Minister for Digital and Economic Affairs Margarete Schramböck in Vienna to explore growth areas for bilateral trade and investment.

MITI said an Establishment of Focal Points was signed on July 8, where elected senior officials would have direct dialogues and exchange of ideas to further expand trade and investment opportunities, as well as to intensify economic cooperation.

As Malaysia is focusing on environmental, social and governance issues, MITI said Azmin also assured Schramböck that Malaysia would facilitate investment by Austrian companies renowned for placing clean energy at the forefront of their products and services.

Azmin had visited the headquarters of Austria Technologie & Systemtechnik AG (AT&S) in Loeben, and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between MITI and AT&S focusing on cooperation in teaching and training in production, as well as research on high-end technologies.

MITI said Azmin also had a roundtable discussion with the Austrian Federal Economic Chambers (WKO), in which the Senior Minister concurred that there was an urgent need to intensify strategic engagements of business-to-business cooperation, particularly in industries such as smart manufacturing, artificial intelligence, aerospace industry, medical devices, and renewable energy.

According to MITI, Malaysia’s total trade with Austria surged 32.2 percent to 1.31 billion ringgit (310 million USD) in the first five months of this year despite the COVID-19 pandemic./.