Malaysian business delegation visits Ethiopia

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The first Malaysian Business Delegation visited Addis Ababa March 19 and 20 as part of a ten day three African nations business trip. The other two African countries the business delegation visited were the East African Nation of Tanzania and Zambia in Southern Africa.
The delegation met with business leaders in the Tanzanian commercial capital and port city of Dar es Salam and the Zambian capital city, Lusaka.  
The mission was initiated with the aim of exploring business opportunities on selected products and service sectors, and establishing networking and business contacts.
They hope to tap into the increasing demand for imported goods by offering a wide range of Malaysian products and services as well as providing opportunities for Malaysian companies to explore their products and services in the emerging African Market.
Aureen Jean Nonis Director of Lifestyle Section/Africa at the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) said seven Malaysian companies in the delegation are from sectors ranging from detergent, household items, car batteries and electronics.
MATRADE is a government agency under the Malaysian ministry of international trade and industry designed to provide information about Malaysian products and services available for export. It also organizes business matching between foreign buyers and Malaysian exporters as well as facilitating visits of foreign buying missions and individual buyers to Malaysia.
Aureen, however, said that palm oil and rubber products were absent on this trip because some Malaysian companies are already engaged in the palm oil sector, which Ethiopia imports in large bulk from Malaysia and other countries
She says the companies that came to Ethiopia as part of the business delegation are willing to share technological expertise with their Ethiopian partners and information about the palm oil and rubber products for which Malaysia is well known.
While admitting that Malaysian products have a long way to go in order to compete with other Asian products, because some countries such as China are putting out less expensive products Aureeen said that Malaysian products have a high rate of quality and are among the best in the market.  Malaysia is one of the top 23 exporting nations in the world.
The business delegation visit was hailed as a new approach to expand Malaysian trade relations from the current Asian region especially the Association of East Asian Nations (ASEAN) region to other parts of the developing world.
The trade volume between Ethiopia and Malaysia in 2011 stood at USD 83.7 million shooting up from 2002 figures of USD 4.6 million a more than 224 percent growth in trade volume. 
Malaysia, a South East Asian Country often called “Asian Tigers,” along with Taiwan and Hong Kong for their robust, innovative economies, registered in 2011 a Gross Domestic Product of USD 271.2 billion in 2011 and a GDP growth rate of 5.1 percent.
The country has a population of 28.3 million people, lying on a land mass area of 330,803sqm. Its currency is called Ringgit Malaysia (RM) and is valued at 3.06 RM per dollar as of March 2011.