Qatar and Malaysia’s total trade volume reached $840.1mn in 2019, according to Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) trade commissioner Omar Mohd Salleh.

Malaysia’s total exports to Qatar last year stood at $406mn, while Qatar’s total exports to Malaysia amounted to $434.1mn, Salleh said in a presentation during the QFC’s webcast series titled “Emerging Opportunities: Qatar & Malaysia” held recently.

Salleh said Malaysia’s major export products to Qatar in 2019 comprised petroleum products, which amounted to $83.2mn, or 20.5%, of the total exports. This was followed by “manufactures of metal” worth $41mn, or 10.1%, of the total exports; jewellery, $40.5mn (10% share); transport equipment, $37.4mn (9.2%), and iron and steel products, $35.5mn (8.7%).

Conversely, Salleh said Qatar’s major exports to Malaysia comprised petroleum products, which amounted to $139.1mn, or 32%, of the total exports. Other export goods from Qatar include ‘chemicals products’ ($136.3mn, 31.4% share of total exports), crude petroleum ($79.2mn, 18.2%), iron and steel products ($29mn, 6.7%), and “manufactures of metal” ($15.1mn, 3.5%).

Salleh pointed out that Qatar is Malaysia’s third largest trading partner in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) market. Qatar is also Malaysia’s third export destination and the fourth source of imports.

During his presentation, Salleh noted that Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is among the investment opportunities that both countries could explore and develop.

According to Salleh, Malaysia is currently focusing, developing, and exporting its expertise in areas, such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and cybersecurity, among others.

He said Malaysia’s proficiency in the field of ICT is now benefiting countries across the globe. These include wireless and security solutions being used in some Gulf countries, banking solutions, electronic passport issuance management system and border control system, contactless payment terminal, RFID and technology, and computer with smartphone function, among others. Salleh also lauded Qatar’s “comprehensive e-Government platform,” adding that Qatar is among the favourite destinations of major global ICT players. He said Qatar has achieved several milestones in areas like cloud services, smart city technologies, ICT’s contribution to GDP, and in its software and IT service markets.

Other speakers at the webinar include Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) CEO and board member Yousuf Mohamed al-Jaida, Malaysian ambassador Zamshari Shaharan, Matrade director of Central, West, South Asia and Africa Section Mansor Shah Wahid; Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation head of business development, global growth acceleration Ryan Chan; QFC vice president of business development Jahongirbek Burhonov, and Westbay Consult managing director Mohamed Thomas Lim.

In his speech, al-Jaida stressed that the webinar reflects the “strong and prosperous” bilateral trade between Malaysia and Qatar, “which has grown over the years since 1974.”