Malaysia focuses on expanding trade with EU, ASEAN hinh anh 1Malaysia's PM Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. (Photo:

Kuala Lumpur (VNA) - Malaysia is calling on the EU-ASEAN Business Council (EU-ABC) to work more closely to further explore the full potential of the country and the wider region, the country's Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has said.

Despite the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Malaysia’s total trade with the EU grew by 26 percent to 180.2 billion ringgit (43.5 billion USD) in 2021, reflecting that the EU remains an important trading partner to Malaysia, he said during the EU-ABC AGM Gala Dinner in collaboration with EUROCHAM Malaysia on June 10. 

Regarding the EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, Ismail Sabri said Malaysia welcomes initiatives by the European Commission to engage the Indo-Pacific region in establishing a more inclusive, multi-pronged and robust partnership between the EU and the region, through the EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific.

The strategic framework will act as a catalyst to revive the economies in the region, he said, adding that this will strengthen the ASEAN market which lies at the crossroads of global economic interactions, while serving as a major gateway for businesses to enter the Indo-Pacific markets.

On the ASEAN-EU relations, Ismail said as a strategic partner to ASEAN, Malaysia is optimistic that the EU will continue to assume a vital role in the region's development including continuing to advocate for the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.

“It is noteworthy that despite the adverse impacts of the pandemic, the EU continues to be one of ASEAN’s most important trade and investment partners. With a total trade of 220.9 billion USD recorded in 2020, the EU was ASEAN's third-largest trade partner,” he was quoted by Bernama news agency as saying.
He reaffirmed that Malaysia remains resolute in its commitment to ensure that the country continues to be a business-friendly nation with greater certainty, accountability, efficiency and transparency in its initiatives and policies.

Malaysia's parliament has approved a record budget for 2022, amounting to 332.1 billion ringgit (75.4 billion USD). It aims at bolstering post-pandemic economic recovery through three main pillars namely strengthening recovery, building resilience, and driving reforms./.