Posted on : 05-02-2017 | By : sabah today | In : International News
DOHA: Qatar is still an attractive investment destination and Malaysian companies must capitalise on the intimate bilateral relations to boost their businesses in one of the world’s richest countries.
Malaysian ambassador to Qatar Datuk Ahmad Jazri Mohd Johar said the Qatari Government has high confidence in Malaysian companies based on their performance record in helping the country develop, especially quality infrastructural development since 2014.
“We have the abilities because many Qatari firms recognised the strengths of Malaysian companies.
“We have a very special diplomatic ties because as Islamic countries we always help each other achieve common goal at international level, especially at the Organisation of Islamic Countries,” he said here yesterday
He said total Malaysia-Qatar trade has increased by three-fold in 10 years, from US$265.5mil in 2006 to US$842.38mil in 2015.
“Qatar is the third biggest trading partner of Malaysia in the Middle East after United Arab Republic and Saudi Arabia. Its key trading partners in the world are still Japan, the United States and Germany.
Malaysia’s key exports included electrical and electronic products, machines, equipment and tools, metal and wood products and processed food. Malaysia imports raw petroleum, refined oil, chemical and chemical and metal products from Qatar.
Ahmad Jazri said Qatar was now the focussing on the construction and infrastructural sectors in the urban areas as it prepared to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022.
On the success of Malaysian firms in Qatar, he said, many of them were in construction and engineering services and hotel management.
“One of them, WCT Engineering Bhd, is involved in many construction projects in the new Lusail township,” he said.
He said among the projects WCT and its Qatari partner were involved in were the building of railway stations and underground railway line, power plant and informaton technology in preparation to host the FIFA World Cup.
Ahmad Jazri said the four-day visit of Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, to Qatar starting on Saturday would help boost bilateral relations and would give Malaysian firms more business opportunities.
“The visit will offer economic opportunities and jobs for the companies and Malaysians and help existing investment cooperation,” he said.
He said Ahmad Zahid’s first visit was at the invitation of its Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah Nasser Khalifa Al Thani.
In addition to having an audience with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Hamad Al-Thani, and calling on Sheikh Abdullah, Ahmad Zahid would visit the National Control Centre and community projects in Lusail, Doha, Hamad International Airport and meet Malaysians in Qatar, he said.
Malaysia started diplomatic relations with Qatar in 1974 and the bilateral ties were strengthened with the opening of the Malaysian embassy in August 2004 followed by the opening of Qatari embassy in Kuala Lumpur in September 2004.
Ahmad Jazri said there were 5,000 Malaysians in Qatar with most of them working with Qatar Airways, education and petroleum industry.
He said because of the intimate relations, many Malaysians hold high positions in many government sector.
“There are Malaysians in many sectors. We have their confidence and even the chef in the palace is a Malasians,” he said.