Malaysia is looking to forge joint ventures in the commodities and food sectors to boost trade relations with Qatar as part of several projects the Southeast Asian country is setting up in the Middle East, ambassador Dato Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin has said.
The ambassador said he hopes further discussions would be made to enhance bilateral trade relations during the planned high level visits by Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail next month and Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamed on December.
“The new government is setting up a few activities and projects, especially with the Middle East, so in our schedule the deputy prime minister of Malaysia, who is also the Minister of Women and Family Development, was invited by her counterpart, HE the Minister of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs Dr Issa Saad al-Jafail al-Nuaimi, for a visit here. The date will be finalised by the ministry,” Shamsuddin told Gulf Times.
“And we also received an invitation from His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani for Prime Minister Mahatir to attend the Doha Forum but that would depend on the activities or schedule of the prime minister. But I do hope that the prime minister would make it,” the ambassador continued.
Earlier, the ambassador said Qatar-Malaysia total trade volume stood at $340.4mn or a 23.3% increase from January to July 2018. In 2017, total trade registered an 18% growth, supported by an increase in Malaysian exports to Qatar amounting to $178.2mn and imports reaching $494.1mn for the same period.
The ambassador also said discussions are ongoing to attract more Qatari investments into Malaysia, which currently stand at around QR3bn. He said the Qatar Investment Authority has a 49% stake in Pavilion KL mall, while Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company also has investments in Movenpick Hotel & Convention Centre and in the construction of the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) project.
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