Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) chief executive officer Datuk Noharuddin Nordin said Malaysian companies involved in 93 projects are currently operating in 27 countries in Africa.
"The most important thing now is for us to entice the business fraternity about Africa as there are other alternative markets such as India and China for them to explore," he added. On question whether the growth is sustainable, he said Africa's growth was not by chance but was due to relentless efforts by the governments in improving its banking and education systems, thus creating opportunities for investors.
Trade and investments between Malaysia and Africa increased over six folds from RM4.28 billion (US$1.13 billion) in 2001 to RM25 billion in 2010. He said Africa accounted for only 2.1 per cent of Malaysia's total trade while Malaysia made up only 1.6 per cent of Africa's total trade.
The countries with the largest record of Malaysian investments are South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria, said Noharuddin.
Major imports from Africa include crude petroleum, iron and steel products and metal ores.