YB Minister MITI together with the French President witnessed the signing and exchange of six B2B MoUs in the areas of energy efficiency, solar power generation, centre of excellence ‘industry 4.0” and innovation and technology transfer.Malaysia and France continue to enjoy strong bilateral relations. In 2016, France was Malaysia's 18th largest global trading partner, 20th largest exports destination and 16th largest source of imports. Within the European Union (EU), France was Malaysia's 4th largest trading partner, 4th largest exports destination and 2nd largest source of imports. Total trade between Malaysia and France in 2016 increased by 6.3% in Ringgit terms to RM15.23 billion. Malaysia’s exports to France amounted to RM5.75 billion, while imports stood at RM9.49 billion compared with 2015.
In terms of investment, France is Malaysia’s 5th largest foreign investor in the manufacturing sector among the EU member states. As at December 2016, a total of 117 manufacturing projects have been implemented, and these investments have provided more than 10,000 job opportunities in the country. Majority of these investments are in petroleum products, machinery & equipment, transport equipment, chemical & chemical products and basic metal products. The cumulative investment of top ten manufacturing projects implemented by French companies totalled RM11.19 billion. These include ST Microelectronic, Lafarge, CJ Arkema, Safran, Technip and Airbus.
In terms of regional establishments, France is the largest approved investor from the EU for the period of 2006-2016 with 73 projects amounting to RM2.2 billion. Some of the companies that established regional operation include ESI Group (Regional Office), Saint Gobain Malaysia Sdn Bhd (Operational Headquarters), InfoVista Sdn Bhd (Operational Headquarters), Monin Asia KL Sdn Bhd (Regional Distribution Center), Centre Technique Des Mecaniques-CETIM (Representative Office).