PUTRAJAYA — March 28, 2017: French carmaker Peugeot is in serious talks with Proton Holdings on a possible partnership.
“It is not concluded yet but that’s something which could be a possibility,” said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak at a joint press conference with visiting French President Francois Hollande at Perdana Putra today.
The visit of Hollande, who arrived in Malaysia yesterday, is part of the president’s first visit to Asean which include stops in Singapore and Indonesia.
In February, it was reported that Peugeot had submitted a bid to buy a stake in Proton.
Najib said both leaders also held talks on bilateral trade investment between both countries, which is at RM15.2 billion. France is the 18th largest trade partner for Malaysia.
“Trade is very much in favour of France because of the large amount of capital equipment that Malaysia purchases yearly like aeroplanes, ships and defence- and security-related equipment.”
Najib also said that Malaysia is aware that French companies play a big part, with 60,000 Malaysians employed in French-based companies in Malaysia such as STMicroelectronics, Lafarge and Technip.
On the importance of the palm oil industry, Najib thanked Hollande for not agreeing to the law to tax Malaysian palm oil and described this as an encouragement to Malaysia. Over 600,000 people depend on this sector.
Last year, Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong said that Malaysia, a major palm oil producer, would try and persuade France not to increase the duties on Malaysian palm oil which currently attracts a 21 per cent import tax. — Bernama