Qatar and Malaysia... 45 years of strong ties
December 11 2019 11:10 PM
Mahathir Mohammed
Prime Minister of Malaysia Dr Mahathir Mohamed


In the context of the growing friendship and good relations between Qatar and Malaysia, the Prime Minister of Malaysia Dr Mahathir Mohamed arrived in Doha yesterday on an official visit.
His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani will meet him today at the Amiri Diwan to discuss bilateral relations and co-operation between the two countries.
The Amir and the Malaysian prime minister will also witness the signing of a memorandum of understanding regarding the establishment of the joint high committee between the two countries, and will exchange views on regional and international issues of common concern.
It is expected that this visit, discussions and the agreements that will be signed, will contribute to strengthening relations between the two countries and pushing them towards broader prospects, especially in the economic, commercial and investment fields.
Relations between Qatar and Malaysia have witnessed a considerable growth in many sectors, and they are characterised by strength and co-operation in various political, economic and commercial fields over the past 45 years.
The diplomatic ties between Qatar and Malaysia began in 1974 at the level of a non-resident ambassador. The embassy of Malaysia in Doha was officially opened in 2004, and the embassy of Qatar was opened months later in Kuala Lumpur.
Since that time, relations between Doha and Kuala Lumpur have been in constant development, and have deepened based on many denominators in keeping with the common doctrine and visions of unity and solidarity between Islamic countries.
Bilateral relations have witnessed many mutual visits and talks at the highest levels between the leaders of the two countries, ministers, government officials and private sector officials, the most notable example is the visit of His Highness the Father Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani to Malaysia in 2009 and the visit of the King of Malaysia at that time Al-Wathiqu Billah Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin to Qatar in 2010.
The Qatari-Malaysian relations culminated in several historic visits by His Highness the Amir to Malaysia in 2015 and 2017, the last of which was in December 2018 that opened the doors to developing relations between the two countries and pushing them to a wider strategic level, especially in the economic, commercial, investment opportunities and human and social development fields, in a way that serves the common interests of the two countries and two  peoples.
The two countries are linked to a set of agreements and memoranda of understanding that regulate their relations in many areas such as avoiding double taxation and preventing financial evasion, economic, technical, cultural and media co-operation, and an agreement between Qatar News Agency and the Malaysian News Agency, in addition to memoranda of understanding on co-operation in the field of training diplomats, higher education, legal activities, and judicial co-operation.
Politically speaking, Qatar and Malaysia stand on one line, confirmed by the convergence of views between the two countries on various regional and international issues, and a common determination to enhance their co-operation in international forums and contribute with the international community in the efforts to maintain international peace and security, combat terrorism, protect human rights and solve disputes through dialogue and peaceful means in accordance with the provisions of international law and the rules of international legality.
Last October, the second session of the Qatari-Malaysian Joint Trade Committee was held in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur. HE the Minister of Commerce and Industry Ali bin Ahmed al-Kuwari chaired the Qatari delegation there.
The future of Qatari-Malaysian co-operation is promising in light of the economic potential of both countries, which will bolster bilateral trade that reached $291mn in the first half of 2019, the minister said.
Al-Kuwari hailed Malaysian companies for contributing to strengthening bilateral economic relations, noting that over 85 Malaysian companies, including 13 fully owned Malaysian firms and 72 jointly owned Qatari-Malaysian companies, are currently operating in Qatar’s engineering, construction, oil and gas and information technology sectors.
Malaysia has a population of about 30mn people and an area of more than 320,000 sq km. It is a modern industrial country that pursues a policy of free economy, in which the country plays an important role in strategic planning and in following up the implementation of the economic programs it draws for it.
Malaysian economy ranks third among the countries of Southeast Asia after Indonesia and Thailand, and the 29th globally. In the 1970s, Malaysia began to imitate the four Asian tiger economies, committing itself to moving from being dependent on mining and agriculture to an economy more dependent on industry.
With foreign investment, heavy industries flourished within years, and its exports became the main growth engine. The electronics industry is one of the pioneering industries there. Its contribution amounts to about 24.5% in the country’s GDP and has consistently achieved a total domestic growth rate of more than 7% with low rates of inflation.
Malaysia has natural resources in agriculture, forestry and minerals fields. It is one of the leading exporters of natural rubber and palm oil, along with wood, cocoa, pepper, pineapple and tobacco.
Malaysia’s economy is solid, diversified and the fastest growing in Southeast Asia. Malaysia has the third largest Islamic banking sector in the world. It has succeeded in achieving a renaissance that has made it an important investment front especially in the fields of food, electronics, health and strategic investment projects.

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