MQBC to enhance Qatar-Malaysia trade

Facility management and education are among the sectors that Malaysian businesses can look into in Qatar


THE Malaysia Qatar Business Council (MQBC) will enhance bilateral trade and investment between Malaysia and Qatar, especially in the banking and tourism sectors.

National Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (NCCIM) VP Datuk Seri Syed Hussien Al Habshee said Qatar is a developed nation in terms of wealth, and it should be potential to develop Malaysia in those sectors.

While for tourism, NCCIM views the “Visit Malaysia Year 2020” as an opportunity to introduce the country to Qatar.

“Most of them would come to Malaysia in June, July and August, and we hope that they will come and shop in our country during their stay here,” he said after MQBC’s inaugural meeting held at Matrade Exhibition and Convention Centre yesterday.

He said trade between both countries had reached US$1 billion (RM4.17 billion) last year and he hoped the figure will increase.

Syed Hussien said the council also acts as an advisor to assist local businesses that wish to tap into the Qatari market.

MQBC is a non-profit organisation established this year. It is based in Qatar and is supported by its co-patron, the Embassy of Malaysia in Qatar.

Meanwhile, MQBC deputy chairman Datuk Maheran Mohd Salleh (picture) said the council hopes for more Malaysian businesses to venture into the Qatari market and make it as a base to explore the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

She said facility management and education are among the sectors that Malaysian businesses can look into in Qatar as Malaysia has always been the preferred country that Qatari companies seek to have joint ventures (JVs) with.

“We have a lot of good Malaysian brands that we can bring to Qatar and they can form a JV with the companies there,” she said.

Maheran added that the council is also focused on increasing strategic investments from Qatar which would bring high added values to Malaysia.

She said Malaysia is a preferred medical destination for Qatar nationals, but more promotions should be done on medical tourism for the country.

“Their feedback is that, Malaysia has very good doctors and hospitals. They prefer coming to Malaysia than our neighbouring countries for medical purposes, but maybe, we lack promotion. It is our challenge to help increase promotion for this sector,” she said.

She added that the council will sign a term of reference with the Qatar Chamber to further enhance trade ties between both countries.

There will also be more business investment forums and visits by both business communities to increase trade and investment.

“We hope Malaysian businesses will not be afraid to explore and do business in GCC countries.

“We aspire to be a strategic one-stop centre for local businesses to come and seek advice from, to get in-depth information on businesses between both countries,” she added.