MIRI: Ukraine is keen on boosting bilateral ties with Malaysia and hopes to establish more business opportunities that can benefit both countries, says its ambassador to Malaysia Olexander Nechytaylo.
According to him, trade between Ukraine and Malaysia has been growing not just in numbers, but also in the type of goods being traded.
“Ukraine is starting to supply things like chocolates, apples and even onions to Malaysia. The Malaysian market is very competitive.
“One of our manufacturers had to obtain halal certification from Malaysia’s Jakim (Department of Islamic Development Malaysia) here, and I’m happy to tell you that now we are starting to supply chicken parts to Malaysia as well.
“The opportunities are huge,” he said during a dialogue programme with Miri Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI), at the end of a three-day official visit here, yesterday.
Also present was MCCCI first vice-chairman Lee Choon Seng.
Nechytaylo said Ukraine is a big market for Malaysia with many opportunities available for both countries to explore, including in the timber industry.
“We are a nation of 43 million. In terms of geography and landmass, we are like Germany and the UK put together. So it’s a vast landmass and I believe there are a lot of opportunities for Malaysia.
“Looking at the economy here in Miri, I believe the timber industry could be one of the areas which we could collaborate in. Ukraine is also manufacturing all its timber, but we process our timber in Ukraine,” he
He added that Ukraine is one of the fastest-growing economies in Europe, achieving gross domestic product of 3.2 per cent under difficult circumstances.
“We’ve also restructured our economy, so now the major drivers for Ukraine’s economy are agriculture and information technology.
“We believe that these two factors will help us to achieve a good future, not just in Europe, but also to expand our relations and our trade collaboration with Asia Pacific countries,” he said.
Nechytaylo said when he met Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in October last year, he realised that the new Malaysian government pays very significant attention to developing and deepening relations with Ukraine.
He also said his country has been increasing its palm oil purchases from Malaysia over the past three years as they believe it is a win-win situation for the two countries.
“We are not a full member of the European Union. We are an associated member and that allows us not to implement sets of rules and regulations issued by the EU on palm oil,” he pointed out.