By Samantha Tan Chiew Tieng
KUALA LUMPUR, May 13 (Bernama) — Malaysian companies are still
exploring business opportunities in the European market despite the
challenging economic environment, according to the Netherlands Foreign
Investment Agency (NFIA).
“Enquiries have not diminished despite the global economic slowdown.
These are still coming, whether in an actual product selling or finding
a new market in Europe,” NFIA project manager K.C. Lee told Bernama in
a interview recently.
Lee said the agency has been still receiving active enquiries because
some local companies are adventurous as they believe that during a
crisis, there are also opportunities.
“Malaysian companies have achieved world standard in the quality of
their products and services. Hence, it is time for them to explore new
markets because they cannot grow if they just keep selling their
products locally,” he said.
NFIA, a division of the Netherlands’ Economic Affairs Ministry, was set
up in October 2007 to assist micro entrepreneurs as well as big
companies entering the European market through the Netherlands.
Lee said a high portion of the enquiries came from Malaysian companies
in the fields of consumer products, halal and non-halal foodstuff,
engineering and information services, software and healthcare.
“The 2009 target for NFIA Malaysia is five new projects with initial value of RM15 million in total,” he said.
Last year, four projects were realised with an estimated total initial value of RM50 million, Lee said.
“Investment is not only building big factories. Helping a company in
marketing is also part of investment. The Netherlands can be a portal
for the distribution of Malaysian products to Europe,” he said.
Lee said about 25 Malaysian companies are already operating in the
Netherlands, with some of them teaming up with Dutch companies while
others include giant plantation companies like Sime Darby and IOI Corp
He said the reasons to invest in the Netherlands included its strategic
location in Europe, international business environment, superior
logistics and technology infrastructure, and attractive tax environment.