Friday, June 5

Envoy: Direct flights can boost Malaysia-Sweden trade relations


STOCKHOLM: Malaysian Ambassador to Sweden Datuk Badruddin Ab Rahman said he foresees a boost in bilateral and trade relations with direct flights between Kuala Lumpur and Stockholm.

There are no direct return flights at present and travellers had to transit in Bangkok, he told Bernama.

He expressed the hope that airlines in Malaysia would revive the direct flights which were halted a few years ago, in view of the rising trade between the two countries.

Bilateral trade stood at RM2 billion for January to July 2012, an increase from the RM1.9 billion for the same period last year, he said.

Badruddin encouraged Malaysians to explore the wide opportunities available in Sweden, which has a population of nine million, and cited tourism, investment and defence as viable sectors.

Another positive development was the reopening of the Swedish Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, after a closure of more than a year due to internal problems in Sweden, he added.

The embassy is located at Suite 16-08, Level 16, GTower, the intersection of Jalan Tun Razak and Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, and is scheduled to be opened on Sept 18.

Badruddin had accompanied the Raja Muda of Perlis, Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Jamalullail, on his working visit of the City Hall of Stockholm and KTH Royal Institute of Technology, here.

Also present was the Raja Puan Muda of Perlis, Tuanku Hajah Lailatul Shahreen Akashah Khalil.

According to Badruddin, about 120 Swedish companies had a presence in Malaysia, with an investment of more than RM10 billion, including automobile company Volvo.

However, there were no Malaysian investors in Sweden, he said.

He said the Malaysian embassy here held continuous programmes to attract Swedish businesses to Malaysia.

“Recently, about 200 Swedish business people were invited to attend a briefing on investment opportunities in Malaysia and they showed great interest in the good investment climate in the country,” he said.

In terms of tourism, he said, 44,138 Swedish nationals visited Malaysia last year and the number would surely increase if the Stockholm-Kuala Lumpur direct flights could be resumed. — Bernama