On the 20th July, the BMCC supported by the British High Commission, MITI and MATRADE successfully hosted the “What’s Next for UK & Malaysia” keynote address, with speeches from H.E. Vicki Treadell CMG, MVO (British High Commissioner to Malaysia) and Y.B. Datuk Haji Ahmad bin Haji Maslan (Deputy Minister of International Trade & Industry).
As a sequel of sorts to last year’s BMCC conference entitled Brexit & Malaysia: A New Opportunity, the purpose of the event was to provide a status update on the UK following its General Elections’ hung parliament result as well as Brexit, one year down the road.
Vicki Treadell who was in London last week to attend the Annual Leadership Conference with the all of the UK’s High Commissioners, ambassadors, consul generals and Theresa May’s cabinet commented on the Prime Minister’s economic plan, saying “The first part of the plan is to remind people that Britain is global. I know what my tasking is, and I know the direction of travel that we are heading in. I have heard first hand from our ministers and my government.”
“The analogy I use is that Britain is like the wallpaper in the room. My job, and that of my team in my Department of International Trade, my political team, my sites innovation team, my defence team, is to bring that wallpaper out into three dimensional space. Actually we’ve been here, we are here and we’ll continue to be here. We’ll do new and exciting things, we’ll evolve,” she said.
YB Datuk Ahmad Maslan also shared his positive thoughts on UK’s Brexit based on MITI’s findings. “It is now more than one year since the referendum and it comes to us as a pleasant surprise that we are seeing encouraging results trade recorded in the beginning of this year. From January to May this year, Malaysia’s total trade with the UK increased by 4.6% to RM2.66 billion compared to the same period in 2016” he justified.
Based on MITI’s initial engagement with UK companies, most companies here express confidence that their operations would not be too affected and that investment decisions were made based on common mutual factors. For Malaysian companies operating in the UK, there will likely be sufficient time to adjust accordingly, despite uncertainties of how things may unfold after the exit of the Britain from the Union.
The morning event which was attended by over 75 guests from various private and governmental sectors ended with a Q&A slot and networking session.