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More investment, flourishing bilateral trade mark PM’s official visit to Qatar

More investment, flourishing bilateral trade mark PM’s official visit to Qatar

DOHA: Malaysia’s Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s official visit to Qatar has been fruitful for the country with more investment, flourishing bilateral trade and potential for collaboration in an array of sectors, namely the halal industry, Islamic banking and renewable energy.

Doha and Putrajaya have seen a significant increase in the value of trade between the two countries despite the world still grappling with the Covid-19 threat.

The Prime Minister said the trade value in the first two months of this year showed an increase of 30.9 per cent to RM610 million compared to RM470 million for the same period last year.

“I am also grateful that Qatar has chosen Malaysia as a major investment destination in Southeast Asia, especially in the real estate and services sectors.

“Until now, the value of Qatar’s investment in Malaysia exceeds US$3.2 billion (RM13.49 billion),” he said at a press conference with the Malaysian media at the end of his three-day official visit to Qatar yesterday.

Ismail Sabri said during his meeting with the Amir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, after the official reception at the Amiri Diwan this morning, both sides also agreed to hold further discussions to determine the investment target to be achieved within two years.

“Taking into account the opening of the border between the two countries and the transition phase to endemic, I believe Malaysia and Qatar should take the opportunity to further strengthen bilateral cooperation in various fields, especially the halal industry, food, Islamic banking, renewable energy as well as oil and gas,” he said.

The Prime Minister said his visit to the Baladna cattle farm and dairy production facility yesterday had enabled a memorandum of cooperation signed in 2019 for Baladna to be a partner of Felda Global Ventures (FGV) and FELCRA in a large-scale dairy farm joint venture project in Malaysia to be finalised by the latest this June.

“The strategic collaboration between Baladna, FGV and FELCRA involves an investment of US$500 million (RM2.1 billion) for the development of a large-scale dairy project in Chuping, Perlis.

“Baladna also agreed to increase the investment by another US$500 million (RM2.1 billion) for the development of dairy projects in Pahang.

“This investment will create more than 2,000 jobs and increase the competitiveness of the local dairy industry,” he said.

Ismail Sabri said during his meeting with Sheikh Tamim, Malaysia also presented some proposals to explore investment opportunities in Qatar from Malaysian companies.

Among them are the North Field Expansion project which spans three phases.

“I have proposed for Petronas to be given the opportunity to be involved in this project. Alhamdulillah, my proposal has been welcomed by the Amir of Qatar,” he said.

The other two proposals were for Malaysia to be made the flight hub for Qatar Airways to fly to Asean countries and for Qatar to import more palm oil from Malaysia as the alternative to sunflower oil.

At the press conference, Ismail Sabri also recorded his appreciation of Qatar’s commitment to host the 14th World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) next year.

“WIEF has the potential to help the business community especially in the Muslim countries affected by the Covid-19 pandemic,” he added.

Ismail Sabri arrived in Doha on Saturday. — Bernama