Goods exchange between Qatar and Malaysia increased by 33.5% in the first seven months of 2021 despite the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on international trade, an official of Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) has said.
From January to July 2021, both countries’ trade volume stood at $345.06mn, registering a 33.5% growth compared to $258.48mn recorded in the same period in 2020, according to Matrade CEO Mohd Mustafa Abdul Aziz.
Abdul Aziz said Malaysia’s major exports to Qatar include special-purpose ships, hot-rolled iron bars, food products, electrical appliances and electronics, electrical control boards, copper wire, furniture, and jewellery.
Conversely, the main products that Malaysia imports from Qatar are refined petroleum, raw aluminium, ethylene polymers, raw zinc, and hydrogen, Abdul Aziz told Gulf Times in a statement.
Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Abdul Aziz stressed that Malaysia “regularly received” business enquiries from companies in Qatar. He said Matrade held discussions with these companies and connected Qatari firms “with the right potential partners in Malaysia.”
At the height of the pandemic, Abdul Aziz noted that Matrade took the necessary precautions by training staff on how to work and network properly and safely, and how to communicate remotely with individuals, corporations, and companies.
“Matrade has developed new business programmes to increase efficiency and accessibility to targeted markets using customised remote applications, advanced online communication tools, and virtual online events like the Malaysia International Halal Showcase (Mihas).
“Internally, we have emphasised on the management principles, which focuses on safety as a first priority and allow staff to work and communicate smoothly and regularly with all entities,” he explained.
He added: “Indeed, we have not found any difficulty in the application of our new programmes and procedures in Qatar because Malaysia and Qatar have common business aspects other than the developed business infrastructure and community in Qatar.”