ASEAN-GCC cooperation to boost bilateral trade, investment – Tengku Zafrul
21 Oct 2023
The cooperation between Asean member countries and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries will open more opportunities for bilateral trade and investment between the two blocs.
Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said this will be through the existing expertise sharing and export network between Malaysian companies and GCC specifically in Saudi Arabia.
“Malaysian companies that will cooperate with local companies in Saudi Arabia can also export their expertise and capital to assist the investments in the kingdom.
“This shows that GCC and Asean will engage in two-way trade and investment, not just one-way,“ he told the Malaysian media after attending a meet and greet session with Malaysian diaspora in Saudi Arabia yesterday.
Tengku Zafrul also announced that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in his working visit in conjunction with the Asean-GCC Summit will also have a meeting with the biggest player in the oil and gas industry in Saudi Arabia, namely Saudi Aramco, and Public Investment Fund (PIF), the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, which are valued at almost US$1 trillion (US$1=RM4.77) to broaden the bilateral investments.
“Investments from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), for example, has reached about US$6.6 billion, as announced by the prime minister who is also finance minister,“ said Tengku Zafrul.
In terms of investment, at present, the UAE is the largest investor in Malaysia from West Asia and is the second biggest among the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation countries.
A total of RM6.19 billion investments comprising 44 manufacturing projects from the UAE were approved as of June 2023, with the potential to generate 4,534 job opportunities.
Asean is the fifth biggest economic bloc in the world with a population of 680 million and gross domestic product size of US$3.7 trillion.