South Australia has praised the support given by International Trade and Industry minister Mustapa Mohamed to boost bilateral trade.
Speaking at the annual Merdeka gala dinner here on Saturday night, the President of the Australia-Malaysia Business Council, South Australia, (AMBC SA) Sathish Dasan said Mustapa and the Malaysian business community had identified areas of economic collaboration between South Australia and Malaysia.
“Our dealings with Malaysia and Mustapa have been first class,” he said.
He said the South Australia state Government and Australian business entrepreneurs were thrilled at Mustapa’s recent visit and looking forward to his next visit to Adelaide.
Sathish said SA did just over A$1 billion worth of trade in goods and services with Malaysia while Malaysian investment in the former was close of A$1 billion.
“We have, among Malaysians here, a genuinely robust business community made of migrants and former students who have decided to remain in South Australia.
“This little business community and the small and medium enterprises are now worth more than A$750 million to the local economy.
“We have established medical clinics, law firms, restaurants and hotels, and I am incredibly proud of them,” Sathish said.
He said the free trade agreement between Malaysia and Australia offered immense opportunities for milk, wine, cheese and meat industries.
“We must continue to explore the synergies between those of us who want to sell services to Malaysia, and business in Malaysia that are looking for new areas of investment in Australia,” Sathish said.
Among the 250 people who attended the Merdeka dinner were the Governor of South Australia, Vietnamese-born Hieu Van Le; Malaysia’s Deputy High Commissioner in Canberra, Zamani Ismail; the Lord Mayor of Adelaide Martin Haese, SA Minister of Investment, Trade and Defence Industries Martin Hamilton-Smith and Adelaide-based Malaysian Consul, Alex Kitigan.
Three top Malaysian students in Adelaide were presented with cash prizes and trophies to mark Merdeka Awards.
They are Taiping-born Sabrina Ng Pei Qin of Univeristy of Adelaide who received an iPad and A$1,500.
Second prize went to University of SA student leader, Mohd Nabil Imran Isahan from Shah Alam who received A$1,000.
Flinders University star student Kasturi Vimalanathan, from Subang Jaya, who has a doctorate in philosophy, received A$750.