KUALA LUMPUR: Ukraine has maintained the momentum of its bilateral trade with Malaysia throughout 2020 despite the global economic slowdown and restrictions imposed in view of COVID-19, says Ukraine Ambassador to Malaysia, Olexander Nechytaylo.
He said the bilateral trade between Ukraine and Malaysia in 2020 saw an increase despite a drop in the global economic development and disruption in supply chain.
“Ukraine’s bilateral trade with other countries in (Asean) region generally dropped (due to COVID-19), but we maintain the momentum with Malaysia.
“In the first nine months of 2020, bilateral trade between two countries almost reached US$310 million (RM1.251 billion), showing increase of five per cent compared to the corresponding period in 2019,” he told Bernama in an exclusive interview at Wisma Bernama, recently.
Nechytaylo said in 2020, Ukraine increased its export of wheat to Malaysia by 200 per cent besides being the second biggest supplier of grain crops to Malaysia.
He said Ukraine also remains main supplier of sunflower oil where 47 per cent of all sunflower oil at the Malaysian market is of Ukraine origin.
“To balance the bilateral trade, we also increased by 50 per cent our import of palm oil from Malaysia comparing to the same period of last year (2019),” he said, adding Ukraine currently is the fourth largest importer of palm oil from Malaysia in Europe.
According to the State Statistics Service of Ukraine, Malaysia remains Ukraine’s third largest trading partner within Asean.
“(We are) seeing big potential for strengthening bilateral ties with Malaysia, we will continue to expand areas of cooperation,” he added.
Commenting further, Nechytaylo said in 2020, Ukraine opened a consulate in Georgetown, Penang, headed by the Honorary consul – an important step to further boost trade, investment and cultural cooperation.
“Penang port is one of the major gateways for Ukrainian goods to enter Malaysia. Moreover, Penang has the second largest number of Ukrainians living in Malaysia after Kuala Lumpur,” he said.
The envoy said next year would be an important year for Ukraine as the country will celebrate the 30th anniversary of Independence on 24th August 2021 besides hosting many important events.
“We hope that the Joint Trade Committee meeting between Malaysia and Ukraine chaired by Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and Ukraine’s Ministry of Economic Development and Trade will take place next year.
“And it will give a fresh jumpstart for even more fruitful and active trade relations between both countries,” he said. – Bernama
Source: The Sun Daily