Trade volume between Qatar and Malaysia is expected to breach the $1bn mark this year, according to an official of the Malaysia Trade Centre.
Qatar-Malaysia trade exchange in 2018 stood at more than $900mn, said Trade commissioner Omar Mohd Salleh, who noted that the trade balance remains in favour of Qatar and that Malaysia increased its imports from Qatar by 50%.
Figures released by Qatar Chamber showed that trade exchange doubled in the past 10 years from $320mn in 2007 to $898mn in 2017.
While petroleum products comprise the bulk of the country’s exports to Malaysia, Salleh said the Southeast Asian country is trying to diversify its imports from Qatar.
“Our focus is on increasing collaboration and trade among our two countries, and I expect more high-level delegations to be held this year... on the export side, I am very positive. There are so many developments being achieved in Qatar and the Qatari government has been introducing many incentives to foreign companies,” Salleh told Gulf Times on the sidelines of business meeting with Qatar Chamber officialson Monday.
During Monday’s meeting, Qatar Chamber first vice-chairman Mohamed bin Towar al-Kuwari welcomed the visit of five mid-tier companies (MTCs) under Malaysia’s MTCs Development Programme. The visit, as part of a market immersion mission to Doha, was co-organised by the Malaysia embassy and Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade).
The five MTCs represent the food sector, specialising in frozen seafood, premium frozen pastries, mostly for fine dining and hotels, as well as palms oil-based products and spices, according to Malaysian embassy charge d’affaires Mohamed Shahir Sabarudin.
The objective of the immersion is to link Malaysian companies with potential business partners and buyers in Qatar through one-to-one business meetings and provide a comprehensive understanding of the Qatar market. The programmes arranged by Matrade include business meetings and networking sessions with authorities, associations and major players from various sectors in Qatar.
Al-Kuwari said Malaysian companies are welcome to participate in the wide range of projects and investment opportunities being offered by the State of Qatar, such as those in the food sector.
Salleh said the products of the MTCs “are internationally-certified,” and are looking to expanding into Gulf markets, particularly in Qatar “because of vast developments happening around the country, including the 2022 FIFA World Cup.”
“We are bringing more delegations to Qatar to spur more collaboration between our private sectors…we want to see where we could contribute more to the development of Qatar,” Salleh said, adding that the next trade delegation to arrive in April will be from the medical devices sector, building materials, and facility management.
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