Britain Looks Forward To Partner With Malaysia In Islamic Finance

By P. Prem Kumar

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 3 (Bernama) — The British government is looking
forward to partner with Malaysia in Islamic finance due to the
country’s success in the sector.

British Minister of Trade, Investments and Small Business, Lord Mervyn
Davies, said as the world’s top financial centre, London was keen to
join hands with Kuala Lumpur as the two governments could generate more
ideas and schemes together.

“Hong Kong and Shangai Bank Corporation (HSBC), a globally famous bank,
has moved its Islamic finance headquarters from the Middle East to
Kuala Lumpur. This shows the confidence that the economy has in the
Malaysian market,” Davis said.

He said this at a press meet after his one-day official visit to
Malaysia Tuesday. Also present was the British High Commissioner Boyd

Davis said Malaysia has been included as one of the top 15 high growth
markets as not only big companies are interested in Malaysia but also
the United Kingdom’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

“As the trade minister, I always encourage all our 4.8 million SMEs to
invest and move further in countries with emerging markets like
Malaysia,” he said.

Davis also said that the halal industry in Malaysia has a great future in the UK as there is a demand for the industry there.

“All these efforts will be supported by liberalisation of the service
sectors carried out by the government recently, which will encourage
other foreign investors, especially financial companies, to extend
their services in Malaysia,” he said.

“This liberalisation will be also exciting as it will indirectly increase more foreign direct investments.”

Total exports of goods and services from the UK to Malaysia was 1.64
billion pounds last year while total exports from Malaysia to the UK
was 2.04 billion pounds.

Davis said the UK has good representation in all the emerging sectors
in Malaysia, including education, Islamic finance, petroleum and retail.

He advised all sectors contributing to the economy to heed Prime
Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s suggestion to invest in parts of
the economy which have huge potential to recover from the current
economic downturn.

“This plan is very similar to what we have been doing in the UK for the past two years,” he said.

Asked about his meeting with his Malaysian counterpart, International
Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed, Davis said they
covered a wide range of areas, which included partnerships between the
two countries in the education and financial sectors.

“We will also carry on dialogues on further liberalisation, which we will work out to explore more businesses here,” he said.

On his visit to Malaysia, Davis said it was to know better the local
economic situation and to further enhance the bilateral relations
between London and Kuala Lumpur.

Prior to his meeting with Mustapa, the minister opened the British
Educational Suppliers Asia Conference and participated in the Asian
Strategic Leadership Institute Chief Executive Officers Forum.