Muhyiddin’s visit to boost Malaysia-Saudi ties on all fronts, say Saudi ministers
11 Mar 2021
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia is set to open up further avenues in boosting bilateral ties on all fronts, especially in the trade and economic sphere between the two countries.
Saudi’s Investment Minister Khalid al-Falih pointed out the many achievements so far, with Saudi being one of the largest trading partners for Malaysia and one of the 20 countries from the Middle East with large investments in Malaysia.
Khalid pointed out the kingdom had two investment projects under establishment in Johor worth 64 billion riyals (one riyal = RM1.09) and 44 other projects in Malaysia worth more than 1.038 billion riyals, while Malaysia in turn had invested in 38 projects in Saudi with a total value of 1.59 billion riyals.
“The kingdom’s Vision 2030 provides exceptional investment opportunities for investors and leading companies in the world,” he said in a statement sent by the Saudi Arabia Embassy in Malaysia today.
Muhyiddin concluded his four-day visit to Saudi from March 6 to 9 on the invitation of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman Abdulaziz Al-Saud. The visit is seen as a great success with the signing of three agreements, first the establishment of the Saudi-Malaysian Coordination Council, the second relating to the arrival of pilgrims and the third a memorandum of understanding (MoU) relating to Islamic affairs. During the visit, the Saudi government also granted Malaysia’s request for an additional 10,000 haj quota.
In the same statement, Saudi’s Commerce Minister Dr Majid Abdullah Al Qasabi said trade exchange between the two countries amounted to 67 billion riyals during the last five years and Saudi ranked 13th among exporting countries to Malaysia.
“The private sector has an important role in pushing the economic relations between the two countries towards further development and growth,” he said.
Apart from economic cooperation, Saudi’s Islamic Affairs, Dakwah and Guidance Minister Sheikh Dr Abdullatif Abdulaziz Al-Sheikh said both countries were banded together by the unity of belief, common interests and fraternal ties.
He pointed out that Malaysia was the first country to implement the “Makkah Road Initiative”, which aims at facilitating haj and umrah pilgrims.
“The ministry is going ahead with developing its relations with the Malaysian side in all fields in order to serve the Islamic Dakwah, taking care of the mosques and develop the performance of imams and preachers according to the vision of the leaderships of the two countries,” he said.
Meanwhile, Saudi Education Minister Dr Hamad Mohammed Al Sheikh said the prime minister’s visit opened up more opportunities for cooperation in the fields of science, research and innovation and the development of cooperation between Saudi and Malaysian universities.
“The Education Ministry annually provides 300 scholarships for Malaysian students to study in Saudi universities,” he said, adding that there are currently 797 Saudi students on scholarships studying in Malaysia.
He said so far, more than 20 MoUs and service contract had also been signed between Saudi’s universities and their Malaysian counterparts.
Saudi’s Ambassador to Malaysia Datuk Dr Mahmoud Hussein Saeed Qattan said the mutual visits of leaderships of the two countries confirmed the depth of Saudi and Malaysia relations, and their desire to strengthen the ties to achieve common interests of the two brotherly countries and peoples.
He said Malaysian businessmen and companies are invited to take advantage of the investment opportunities in various fields available in light of the country’s Vision 2030.
Within the framework of joint international efforts to combat Covid-19, he said Saudi had taken the initiative to provide medical aid to specialised international organisations and many countries, including Malaysia.