Malaysian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Amb. Datuk Lim Juay Jin said his country’s bilateral trade with Nigeria in 2015 stood at 766.8 million dollars.
Datuk Lim, who made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday said that trade value was a 14.6 per cent increase from 2014.
“The total trade between the two countries was valued at 766.8 million U.S. dollars in the year of 2015 and this was an increase of 14.9 percent from the previous year.
“The trade was in Malaysia’s favour.
“Malaysia’s main export to Nigeria included petroleum products, palm oil and palm based products, machineries and also processed food.
“Malaysia’s main import from Nigeria was Liquefied Natural Gas, iron ore, metal scrap and agricultural goods.
“And of course, it is our sincere hope that the bilateral trade between the two countries will continue to increase, I am sure Nigeria has a lot of things to offer to Malaysia too.”
Datuk Lim said that both countries had bilateral relations since 1965, adding that 2016 marked the 51st year of this relationship that waxed stronger in spite of the dormancy of the Joint Commission of Cooperation.
He said that although the joint commission had been inactive for more than a decade, efforts were made to revive it.
“As far as the joint commission meeting is concerned, it is dormant for the time being due to some reasons that have prevented this mechanism to be conducted on a more regular basis.
“This is either due to unavailability of commonly accepted dates and unavailability of officials or members of the commission.
“But both countries have on numerous occasions expressed interest in reviving this Joint Commission of Cooperation because we agree and recognise that this is an important platform to propel bilateral relations.
“I also must stress that even without the joint commission, our relations have been moving on in so many areas without putting special impetus to it and the momentum has picked up, but of course, the joint commission is an official mechanism.”
The high commissioner also explained that the Malaysia-Nigeria Business Council served as an umbrella under which the business communities of both countries explored investment opportunities.
He added that the business council coordinated its activities with the Malaysia-Nigeria Trade Commission.
Datuk Lim further explained that the commission was aimed at spearheading commercial activities between the two countries.
“The activities of this business council is geared towards investment promotion between Nigeria and Malaysia.
“We have, last year, established a trade office in Lagos to spearhead the commercial activities between the two countries and the Nigeria-Malaysia Business Council is working hand-in-hand with the trade office.
“The trade office is manned by a trade commissioner; from here you can also see that Malaysia actually puts a lot of emphasis on Nigeria’s future; we see the business potential in Nigeria.
“Out of the many West African countries we chose Lagos as the destination for the trade office; that speaks volumes.”
According to Datuk Lim, both countries have bilateral relations in the areas of economy, science and technology, culture and capacity building.