KUALA LUMPUR-Canada values investments from Malaysia, particularly in helping to develop the North American country’s oil and gas industry.
Canada High Commissioner to Malaysia Julia G. Bentley said energy is an important economic sector in Canada, and the recent investment made by Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) had demonstrated the Malaysian company’s confidence towards Canada.
“Malaysia is a valued investor in Canada. We are delighted that in October last year, Petronas announced its decision to invest in the LNG Canada terminal project in Kitimat, British Columbia,” she said.
She said Petronas has invested CAD10 billion (RM30.8 billion), holding a 25 per cent stake in the CAD40 billion-worth Canada LNG project, making it the single largest private investment in Canada’s history.
“It is very ambitious. It took very careful negotiations between various investing partners and government of Canada in terms of what is expected to result from this investment,” she said.
She was met by Bernama International News Service after delivering a lecture at the Azman Hashim International Business School (AHIBS) Global Dialogue at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), here, recently.
Bentley was also confident that the decision is set to reposition Petronas as one of the top exporters of natural gas in North America.
Malaysia is Canada’s fourth largest trading partner in ASEAN with bilateral merchandise trade in 2018 recorded at CAD3.76 billion (RM11.6 billion), up from CAD3.5 billion (RM10.8 billion) in 2017.
According to the official statistics from the High Commission, Canada’s exports to Malaysia in 2018 was CAD782.7 million (RM2.41 billion), which increased from CAD718.7 million (RM2.16 billion) in 2017. Top Canadian exports to Malaysia include fertilisers, oilseeds, cereals, and electronic and electrical machinery.
Meanwhile, Malaysia’s exports to Canada in 2018 also increased to CAD2.98 billion (RM9.19 billion) from CAD2.78 billion (RM8.56 billion) the previous year.
Top Canadian imports from Malaysia include electronic and electrical machinery and equipment, machinery, scientific and technical instruments, rubber, fats and oils.
Meanwhile, Malaysia and Canada recorded a total of CAD808 million (RM2.49 billion) in bilateral trade in services in 2017. In this segment, Canada’s exports to Malaysia was valued at CAD471 million (RM1.45 billion), while imports from Malaysia was at CAD337 million (RM1.04 billion).
There are currently 34 Canadian companies operating in Malaysia. They include Bombardier, Celestica, CAE, SNC-Lavalin, Manulife, ATS Automation, Teknion, and Solmax.
Earlier in her lecture titled “Canada-Malaysia Partnership”, Bentley said Canada is keen on enhancing ties with Malaysia through close collaboration in various fields including in security, education and social empowerment.
She said Canada High Commission in Malaysia also supported Malaysia’s efforts to enhance rule of law and good governance, improve human rights as well as in empowering women and girls.
To date, she said that last year, the high commission had collaborated with civil society groups on social programmes that focused on empowering women and girls through education, teaching young people on sexual and reproductive health, advocating rights for child victims, and gender bias violence.
Bentley said Ottawa and Kuala Lumpur have also forged strong partnership in security matters.
“One outstanding example was the five years special forces programme to strengthen Malaysia’s operational capabilities to counter chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats,” she said, adding that
Malaysia is the only country in Asia that the Canadian special forces collaborated with in the programme.