Rafidah Aziz

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Rafidah Aziz

Malaysia's longest serving Minister of International Trade and Industry

Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz was born in Selama, Perak in 1943. She obtained her BA in Economics and Masters in Economics in from the University of Malaya. She taught at the Faculty of Economics until she began her career as a politician with her appointment as Senator in 1974.

She is the most dynamic lady that Malaysia has to date. Confident, dynamic and passionate, she is well known for her quick, direct and articulate responses. She is Malaysia's longest serving Minister of International Trade and… 

Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz was born in Selama, Perak in 1943. She obtained her BA in Economics and Masters in Economics in from the University of Malaya. She taught at the Faculty of Economics until she began her career as a politician with her appointment as Senator in 1974.

She is the most dynamic lady that Malaysia has to date. Confident, dynamic and passionate, she is well known for her quick, direct and articulate responses. She is Malaysia's longest serving Minister of International Trade and Industry, having been in the position for 21 years from 1987 - 2008. Much admired by her peers and colleagues, she is regarded as an authority on trade and industry.

During her tenure as the Minister of International Trade and Industry, she has contributed significantly to the development of the country's economy. With her sound knowledge of economic matters, she worked tirelessly to position and to promote Malaysia as the most favoured destination for foreign direct investment. Many multinational brands such as Intel, Western Digital, Panasonic, Samsung to name a few have set up manufacturing and research and development facilities in Malaysia. Malaysia is the 20th largest trading nation in the world and is the world's largest exporter of semiconductors in the world. 

On the domestic front, she strives to create opportunities for local enterprises to excel in their businesses. Trade agencies such as SMIDEC now known as SME Corp and Matrade were set up to assist Malaysian SMEs. The establishment of SMIDEC was in recognition of the need for a specialised agency to further promote the development of Small and Medium Industries (SMIs) in the manufacturing sector through the provision of advisory services, fiscal and financial assistance, infrastructural facilities, market access and other support programmes. Malaysian SMEs have greatly benefited from the trade policies implemented during her tenure.

Through her concerted efforts and passion in promoting Malaysia's trade, many businesses have emerged from small medium enterprises to large corporations with offices in the international market. She is much respected by her peers and her candour and straight talking ways are is a breath of fresh air in the political arena where double entendres is part of one'sspeech. The local media dubbed her as 'Rapid Fire Rafidah" and love her for her forthright opinion and wit. Her expertise, visionary outlook and confidence have been a source of inspiration to many entrepreneurs and Malaysians.

Known as the "Iron Lady" from Kuala Kangsar, she is in her element and holds center court when it comes to tackling trade negotiations or promoting the attributes of Brand Malaysia.

Malaysia is proud to have this very outstanding and illustrious daughter who has stamped her mark in the world. Indeed, Rafidah is a well known personality one of the rare women whose intellectual prowess is undoubted. Over the years, her career development and political maverick has given an impact on Malaysia economics and federal trade agreement (FTA) in particular. She is well known not only among Malaysians but also internationally for her forthrightness and her ability to stand tall with her male counterparts.

YB Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz continues to have her finger on the pulse on international trade and investments as patron of the Malaysia-Europe Forum. She was just recently appointed as the Chairman of AirAsia X.

 

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