From January to August this year, the volume of trade between Ukraine and Malaysia reached about $270 mn, Malaysia’s Ambassador to Kyiv Chuah Teong Ban told KW, “and there is still a lot of potential”, according to Kyiv Weekly.

“Over the years, we have had conducted many visits of high-ranking economic officials (not only trade minister, but ministers of tourism, primary commodities) to come to Ukraine for economic promotional missions. I think in order to have more Malaysians buying Ukrainian products, similar approach and promotional efforts need to be taken from the Ukrainian side,” the Ambassador said.

Some Malaysian business people are afraid of doing business in the CIS region including Ukraine because they are not very clear about the business ethics; so they are a bit skeptical to come forth to do more investment in Ukraine, the diplomat complained. “I can promote Malaysia here but I cannot promote Ukraine back in Malaysia effectively when because I am based in Ukraine.”

Asked about tourism perspectives, Chuah Teong Ban said “Lack of knowledge and promotional efforts on the Ukrainian side, no direct flights – these are some of the reasons why the small number of Malaysians visited Ukraine. But the thing hampering Malaysians from coming to Ukraine most is the visa issue.” Another problem is language differences: “When [Malaysians] see inscriptions in Cyrillic the first thing they say is “Russian”. They are afraid that when they come here and try to speak not many people can understand them and help when they get into trouble for instance. Perhaps, Ukraine may attract more tourists by adopting more English signboards.”