Mission is expected to reinforce the value proposition of Malaysia as the preferred investment destination and trading partner
by ASILA JALIL / pic by RAZAK GHAZALI
INTERNATIONAL Trade and Industry (MITI) Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali (picture) will lead a trade and investment mission to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) today until May 4, 2021, to promote business opportunities and strategic partnerships in the West Asia region.
The ministry said the mission aims to keep the momentum of economic relations between Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and the UAE following Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s visit to both countries last month.
“The mission is expected to reinforce the value proposition of Malaysia as the preferred investment destination and trading partner by boosting the confidence of the business communities in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
“Both these countries are among the most important trading and investment partners in WestAsia, and Malaysia hopes to elevate this deeply rooted partnership to a more strategic level in the sphere of quality investments and diversified trade,” MITI said in a statement yesterday.
During his visit to Saudi Arabia, the senior minister will meet Commerce Minister and General Authority for Foreign Trade chairman of the board of directors Dr Majid Abdullah Alkassabi and Industry and Mineral Resources Minister Bandar Al Khorayef.
In the UAE, Azmin will meet Economy Minister Abdulla Touq Al Marri and Minister of State for Foreign Trade Dr Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi.
The meetings involve discussions on key bilateral issues and collaboration in areas of mutual interest, including bilateral and regional economic cooperation, finance and post-pandemic economic recovery measures.
“The minister will brief his counterparts in Saudi Arabia and the UAE on the newly minted National Investment Aspirations (NIA), a forward-looking growth framework that will form the basis for comprehensive reforms of Malaysian investment policies.
“NIA will be central to Malaysia’s new investment direction, offering various opportunities for investors from Saudi Arabia and the UAE.”
Azmin will also conduct one-to-one business meetings with prominent Saudi and Emirati companies during his visit, as well as potential investors to explore new business opportunities and collaboration in the oil and gas, healthcare and retail industries.
He will also witness the signing of a memorandum of business exploration between UEM Edgenta Bhd, a subsidiary of Khazanah Nasional Bhd, and ASMA Advanced Solutions LLC in Riyadh.
A small delegation of senior officials from MITI, Malaysian Investment Development Authority and Malaysia External Trade Development Corp will accompany the senior minister during his visit to both nations.
“The mission will be subjected to strict Covid-19 preventive standard operating procedures as agreed upon by the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the National Security Council, as well as by the governments of Saudi Arabia and UAE. MITI’s delegation is required to undergo mandatory quarantine as soon as they return to Malaysia as prescribed by MoH,” it added.
Last year, Saudi Arabia was Malaysia’s second-largest trading partner and the largest source of import in the West Asia region. Total trade between both countries stood at RM20.27 billion with Malaysia’s exports to the country amounting to RM4.13 billion, while imports valued at RM16.14 billion.
Main investments from Saudi Arabia include chemicals and chemical products, food manufacturing, electronics and electrical products, and textiles. The UAE is Malaysia’s largest trading partner and largest export destination in the West Asia region for 2020.
Total trade between both countries was RM20.59 billion, with total exports to the UAE amounting to RM8.49 billion, while imports stood at RM12.1 billion. The main source of investments from the UAE were in the machinery and equipment sectors, halal pharmaceutical and food manufacturing.