KUALA LUMPUR: A high-level French business delegation chaired by the President of the French Business Confederation (MEDEF) Pierre Gattaz were in Malaysia for a two-day visit from 22 to 23 February 2017.

A 61-member delegation is comprised of 35 companies, all internationally renowned French organisations specialised in fields of rail, oil & gas, aerospace & defence, engineering, satellite systems, nuclear & renewables, industrial equipment, electronics, e-commerce and business & financial services.

During the mission, the delegation also had a meeting with the Minister of International Trade and Industry Dato’ Seri Mustapa Mohamad.

MEDEF International is the most representative organisation of the French private sector at an international level: it represents the MEDEF and its 800,000 companies, in the world. It gathers more than 6,700 French companies already operating in the world, in 82 Business Councils headed by 53 Chief Executive Officers of major international French companies.

President of MEDEF said the two-day visit was aimed at deepening the understanding of the Malaysian market and the needs of the country's infrastructure, transportation, tourism, agro-industry and energy sectors, as well as its digital economy.

"France can bring competence, expertise and talents and we are here to understand these needs and discover the opportunities," he said.

The third largest economy in the ASEAN region (USD300 billion), with a population of 30.5 million and an increasingly attractive business environment, Malaysia's goal is to double its per capita income by 2020. Already recognised as a regional industrial hub, Malaysia aspires to become a center for R&D, logistics, distribution, marketing and support services. There are now more than 270 French establishments that have already chosen Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia as their investment destination.

French Ambassador to Malaysia, Christopher Penot, said French companies have a strong economic footprint in Malaysia with more than 270 companies having invested in the country to date.

"These companies employ about 26,000 people and have an annual turnover totalling RM18 billion," he said.

France is Malaysia’s 5th largest foreign investor among EU countries in terms of implemented investments. A total of 118 manufacturing projects with French interest valued at USD1.08 billion have been implemented. The majority of these investments were in petroleum products, machinery & equipment, transport equipment, chemical & chemical products and basic metal products. These investments have provided more than 10,000 job opportunities for the country. Notable French companies operating in Malaysia include STMicroelectronic, Lafarge, Arkema, Safran Group, Airbus Group, Technip Geoproduction and Saint-Gobain.

Chief Executive Officer, InvestKL, Datuk Zainal Amanshah, said over the recent years, many companies from overseas have chosen Greater KL as their investment and expansion destination, a strong testament that Greater KL and Malaysia is an ideal investment destination and a liveable city to live as an expat.

“Kuala Lumpur’s ecosystem is attractive for inward investment for a number of reasons - world-class infrastructure, multilingual workforce and well-educated talent pool, competitive cost and friendly policies in place,” said Zainal.

Some of the French multinationals that have chosen Greater KL as an ideal city to setup its establishments in the region include International SOS, the world’s largest and leading international medical assistance and travel security risk services company; Colas Rail, a world leading French providers of rail infrastructure services and a subsidiary of Colas Group; top French e-payment services company Worldline and VINCI Construction, France’s leading construction company and a major global player.

Source: Invest KL