The Star On Line– Malaysia is set to pursue free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations with Iran by the end of January next year, said Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong.
He said with Iran’s population of 82 million, the FTA was a good move and would make Malaysia more competitive as it would provide a huge opportunity for Malaysian products, particularly rubber and palm oil, to penetrate into the country.
“We will visit Iran towards the end of January next year and will try to negotiate for more Malaysian products to be brought into the country,” he told a press conference after a visit to Lee Swee Kiat Group Bhd in Klang on Friday.
He said Iran was the second largest country in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia and a bilateral FTA would allow Malaysia to gain a first-mover advantage.
Malaysia exported RM1.5bil worth of commodities to Iran in 2015 and the number was expected to reach RM1.6bil this year, he said, adding the FTA would provide a huge potential for Malaysian furniture and bedding products in the future. – Bernama