Malaysia-Qatar bilateral ties, economic cooperation to be further strengthened with PM’s visit
27 Mar 2022
Bilateral relations and economic cooperation between Malaysia and Qatar are expected to be further strengthened with the three-day official visit of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to Qatar from March 27 to 29.
According to the Malaysian Ambassador to Qatar, Zamshari Shaharan, several mechanisms are in place to achieve the two objectives, with the first being the establishment of the Malaysian Embassy in Doha in 2004, followed by the establishment of the Malaysia-Qatar Joint Trade Committee in 2018 and the Malaysia-Qatar High-Level Joint Committee in 2019.
“The latest mechanism will be the meeting and discussion at the highest level between the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri and the Amir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani on March 29,” he told Malaysian media at his office here today.
Zamshari said that during the meeting, the Prime Minister is expected to convey Malaysia’s commitment as well as listen and get feedback from Qatar to take the bilateral relations between the two countries to a greater height.
“This visit is also important because there is a lot to explore in Malaysia-Qatar relations, especially in the post-pandemic recovery efforts.
“Malaysia and Qatar each have strategies to control the spread of COVID-19. Although the number of cases is still high, vaccination programmes and the administration of booster doses dosing have allowed the pandemic to be curbed.
“In this case, Qatar may have been able to control the pandemic earlier because of its very aggressive vaccination programme,” he said.
The organisation of the 20th edition of the Doha Forum on March 26 and 27 and the 72nd FIFA Congress on March 31 is a testament to Qatar’s readiness and success in curbing the spread of COVID-19.
According to Zamshari, Malaysia needs to capitalize on its relationship with Qatar as the country has recorded economic growth of between four and five per cent with the highest per capita income in the world, as well as rapid development in construction in preparation for hosting the World Cup football championship in November.
“Qatar has a strong economic force for us to also benefit from, in terms of investment opportunities, such as in the field of construction.
“For the World Cup alone, there already a Malaysian company that has had the opportunity to renovate one of the stadiums. So, there may be other Malaysian companies that can try to explore other fields,” he said.
Zamshari said Qatar is an important trading partner for Malaysia with trade volume between the two countries reaching US$ 0.8 billion in 2019, but declining to US$ 0.5 billion and US$ 0.63 billion in 2020 and 2021 respectively due to the COVID-19.
“Hopefully, with the Prime Minister’s visit, the value of trade between the two countries will return to US$ 0.8 billion or more,” he said.
During his visit to Qatar, the Prime Minister will also hold an engagement session with the Malaysian business community and families in Doha.
The Malaysian delegation will also include Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah, Senior Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, Rural Development Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid, Deputy Works Minister Datuk Arthur Joseph Kurup and Felda chairman Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh.