British government remains optimistic on a joint committee to boost bilateral trade and investment with Malaysia


THE British government remains optimistic of setting up a joint committee to boost bilateral trade and investment with Malaysia amid modifications to the national government.

Both countries initiated talks on a trade working group post-Brexit under the last government, but the recent shift in administration stalled that.

“We have been eager to improve our bilateral investment and trade, which are already significant.

The previous government had agreed to set up a commerce working group with the UK government to look at ways to improve investment and trade opportunities.

“I expect the new government will continue to do this since I think it’s a vital thing for people to do to boost trade and investment. One thing that I expect we will see — now that Brexit has happened — is that British businesses, who may have in the past looked to the European Union (EU), will look further afield,” Straw added.

The focus of this committee will be to minimise barriers on exports and imports.

Britain’s departure from the EU on Jan 31 earlier this year will see the rollover of some current agreements between the UK and Malaysia on areas such as air, immigration and services, Hay said.

The nation is”expecting big changes” in its immigration policy,” he said, adding that the EU’s priority status will be changed into some points-based system.

“This could mean is it would be simpler for Malaysians to reside and work in the united kingdom if they meet the many criteria that have been set outside,” he said.

There is also considerable interest in the education industry and if this area will see changes.

“Some folks are saying are we going to go back to the older days where Commonwealth students had preferential treatment? There will be parity between EU and non-EU pupils, although there are no plans to do that at the present time. That might make it more powerful for all overseas students,” Hay said.

Presently, about 19,000 Malaysians are currently studying in the UK. Malaysian students make up non-EU and non-UK students in the UK’s group.

Meanwhile, Hay claimed that it’s still early days to be talking about a free trade arrangement (FTA) with Malaysia, given that Britain is engaged in conjunction with different significant savings.


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