Malaysia, Saudi Arabia firms sign over RM9.74b worth of deals

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian and Saudi Arabian companies today signed seven Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) worth RM9.74 billion in construction, oil and gas, halal industry, aerospace and haj services.

International Trade and Industry (MITI) Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said this shows the growing interest from both countries to leverage on mutual strengths in achieving each other’s business goals.

“As Saudi Arabia is moving away from its reliance on oil revenue, we encourage Saudi investors to explore the business potentials in new growth areas particularly advanced technological products.

“We also urge multinationals (MNCs) from Saudi Arabia to follow in the footsteps of other MNCs and take advantage of our Principal Hub scheme.

“This will enable them to use Malaysia as a base to increase their key strategic value-adding functions towards becoming more efficient,” he said in a statement today.

The MoUs were signed at the Malaysia-Saudi Arabia Business Forum at JW Marriot Hotel here today. The forum is held in conjunction with the state visit of King Salman Abdulaziz Al-Saud, the custodian of the two holy mosques.

Mustapa said Malaysia has a strong presence in Saudi Arabia’s construction sector and so far 19 contracts worth RM18.5billion have been awarded to Malaysian companies.

He added that the MoUs signed today will complement the government-to-government agreement that he had signed with the Saudi State Minister Dr Ibrahim Abdulaziz Al-Assaf at Seri Perdana yesterday, which is targeted at boosting trade and investment between both countries.

Malaysia and Saudi Arabia continue to enjoy strong bilateral relations.

In 2016, total trade between both countries was RM14 billion, an increase of 27.8 per cent from the year before.

Malaysia’s exports amounted to RM3.4 billion, while imports stood at RM10.6 billion.

The ministry in a statement said within the Gulf Cooperation Council, Saudi Arabia was Malaysia’s second largest trading partner, second largest export destination and number one largest source of imports, which indicates the importance of Saudi Arabia to Malaysia.

Meanwhile, Mustapa said the Malaysia-Saudi Arabia Business Forum held today aims to promote and highlight business and investment opportunities in Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.

It also aims to provide a platform to discuss and exchange views on issues related to trade and investment and ways to enhance bilateral ties.

More than 550 participants attended the forum, the majority of which were prominent members of Malaysian business community as well as 100 representatives from renowned Saudi companies and Saudi officials.

Participants were briefed on Malaysia’s economic performance, trade and investment opportunities as well as the many investment incentives offered by Malaysia.

They were also briefed on trade and investment opportunities in Saudi Arabia and ‘Saudi Arabia Vision 2030’ by the Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority.

© New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd

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