International Trade and Industry Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali will lead a trade and investment mission to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from tomorrow until May 4.
The mission is part of the international trade and industry ministry’s (Miti) efforts to promote business opportunities and strategic partnerships between Malaysia and the West Asian region.
The mission is aimed at keeping the momentum of economic relations between Malaysia and both countries, following the official visit of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to Saudi Arabia and the UAE in March, Miti said in a statement today.
Miti said 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 West Asia and Malaysia hopes to elevate this deeply rooted partnership to a more strategic level in the sphere of quality investments and diversified trade,” it said.
During the visit to Saudi Arabia, Azmin will meet minister of commerce and chairman of the board of director of the General Authority of Foreign Trade, Majid Abdullah Alkassabi, and Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar I Al Khorayef.
In the UAE, Azmin will be meeting Minister of Economy Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri and Minister of State for Foreign Trade Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi.
Azmin is also expected to meet other senior ministers of both countries.
The meetings will discuss key bilateral issues and collaboration in areas of mutual interest, including bilateral and regional economic cooperation, finance and post-pandemic economic recovery measures.
“Azmin will brief his counterparts in Saudi Arabia and the UAE on the newly minted National Investment Aspirations (NIAs), a forward-looking growth framework that will form the basis for comprehensive reforms of Malaysian investment policies.
“NIAs will be central to Malaysia’s new investment direction, offering various opportunities for investors from Saudi Arabia and the UAE,” said Miti.
Besides the official meetings, Azmin will also conduct one-to-one business meetings with prominent Saudi and Emirati companies, as well as potential investors, to further explore new business opportunities and collaboration in the oil and gas, healthcare, and retail industries.
Azmin 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.
This MoU signifies a strategic venture by a Malaysian company in the healthcare support services and integrated facility management market in Saudi Arabia.
In 2020, the kingdom was Malaysia’s second largest trading partner and largest source of import in the West Asia region.
Total trade between both countries was recorded at RM20.27 billion (US$4.83 billion) with Malaysia’s exports to Saudi Arabia amounting to RM4.13 billion (US$0.99 billion) and imports value at RM16.14 billion (US$3.84 billion). Main investments from the kingdom include chemicals and chemical products, food manufacturing, electronics and electrical products, and textiles.
The UAE was Malaysia’s largest trading partner and largest export destination in the West Asian region for 2020. Total trade between both countries stood at RM20.59 billion (US$4.92 billion) with total exports to the UAE amounting to RM8.49 billion (US$2.03 billion), while imports were at RM12.10 billion (US$2.89 billion).
The main source of investments from the UAE were in the machinery and equipment sectors, halal pharmaceutical and food manufacturing.
Azmin will be accompanied by a small delegation of senior officials from Miti, the Malaysian Investment Development Authority and the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation.
The mission will be subjected to strict Covid-19 preventive SOPs as agreed upon by Malaysia’s health ministry and National Security Council, as well as by the Saudi and UAE governments.