Enhance Malaysia-Qatar bilateral relations by exploring benefits of various sectors - Academician - MIDA | Malaysian Investment Development Authority
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Enhance Malaysia-Qatar bilateral relations by exploring benefits of various sectors — Academician

Enhance Malaysia-Qatar bilateral relations by exploring benefits of various sectors — Academician

13 May 2024

Malaysia can further strengthen bilateral ties with Qatar that have been established since 1974 through the halal industry, Islamic banking, renewable energy, and the application of artificial intelligence (AI), among others, said an academician.

Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia, Faculty of Economics and Trade senior lecturer Dr Umi Hamidaton Mohd Soffian Lee said reinforcing bilateral ties with Qatar will ensure Malaysia’s economy is on a good track and in line with other developed countries.

“We are in the midst to upmerge the halal industry, among other industries. Through AI, we want to make sure that our country is as successful as other developed countries.

“We do not want to fall behind so we will attempt to integrate this AI element in new sectors that we can explore, for example in the field of halal and Islamic finance and look forward to transforming the existing digital economy,” she said during Bernama TV’s “Malaysia Petang Ini” programme, titled “Malaysia’s Mission to Attract Qatari Investors”, today.

Umi Hamidaton elaborated that Malaysia can project the halal industry through AI because the development of the industry is expected to reach up to RM500.4 billion by 2030.

“I see that this proliferation can make a big contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) that we are trying to achieve which is 8.1 per cent by 2025.

“We have a well-defined plan called the Halal Industry Master Plan 2030 (HIMP 2030). This plan can be an avenue to explore with Qatar, given their potential to produce products or services that we can showcase,” she said.

Umi Hamidaton explained that Qatar recorded the highest per capita income in the world and is one of the potential investment destinations that are lucrative for companies investing in the country.

“Investing companies in the country, for example, can seize the opportunity from the intimate business relationship that had been built over the years to develop with the richest country in the world,” she said.

In 2023, the total bilateral trade between Malaysia and Qatar stood at RM4.3 billion.

Malaysia’s main exports to Qatar are iron and steel products amounting to 37.2 per cent; machinery, fittings and equipment (16.5 per cent); palm oil and palm oil-based agricultural products (8.5 per cent), while the rest is processed food and electrical and electronic products.

Meanwhile, Malaysian imports from Qatar consist of petroleum products (47.4 per cent), crude petroleum (31.5 per cent); chemicals and chemical products (10.5 per cent), manufactured metal goods (9.3 per cent) and palm oil-based manufactured products (0.3 per cent).

From January to March 2024, Malaysia’s total trade with Qatar increased 178.4 per cent to RM1.43 billion (US$303.9 million) compared to RM514.9 million (US$116.7 million) for the same period in 2023.

Qatar was Malaysia’s fifth-largest trading partner in 2023, being the sixth-largest export destination and sixth-largest source of imports from the West Asian region.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s official visit to Qatar, commencing from May 12 until May 14, is expected to further deepen bilateral relations between Malaysia and Qatar in various aspects.

While in Doha, Anwar, who is also the Minister of Finance, will participate in the Fourth Qatar Economic Forum (QEF) 2024 and meet with captains of industry and investors from Qatar to attract investments for the MADANI Economy initiative.

Anwar will also attend a meeting with the Malaysian diaspora in Doha.

Source: Bernama