DUBAI, Oct 22 — Malaysia is keen to strengthen its bilateral trade relationship with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and expect to see total trade between the countries to increase by five per cent this year from the US$5.7 billion (RM23.8 billion) recorded in 2018.
The newly-appointed Malaysian Ambassador to the UAE Mohd Tarid Sufian said trade with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nation has been in its favour since 2017 but Malaysia managed to reduce the gap by 66 per cent last year.
“The UAE is keen to strengthen its existing strategic partnership with Malaysia, especially in the fields of agriculture technology, renewable and clean energy, halal industry and tourism.
“This will certainly be explored as they are some of our key areas of strength. With that, I am confident that this year’s trade will surpass last year’s,” he told Bernama.
Mohd Tarid said Malaysia’s relationship with the UAE was established on a strong foundation, given the similar trends and drivers of economic growth in both counties, including the manufacturing of new technologies, service and international trade, innovation, research and development, open trade policies and a strong small and medium enterprises sector.
Over the decades, Malaysia and the UAE have developed a strong bond and both countries have emerged as leading models for Islamic economy which embraces progress and development for its communities, he said.
The UAE is Malaysia’s largest trading partner among the GCC countries, followed by Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
For the first eight months of 2019, Malaysia’s total trade with the UAE stood at US$3.74 billion—a two per cent decrease from the same period in 2018.
Between January and August 2019, Malaysia’s major exports to the UAE include jewellery (US$483.6 million), electrical and electronic products (US$455.1 million), machinery and equipment (US$105.6 million) and processed food (US$75 million).
Meanwhile, commenting on the Dubai Expo 2020, Malaysia’s Consul General Mohd Hasril Abdul Hamid said the mega event is an exceptional platform for Malaysia to increase trade and business opportunities in the UAE and beyond.
“Malaysia recognises the importance of taking part in the world expo as over the years, such events have helped to advance and promote investment and trade prospects that our country has to offer.
“Dubai Expo 2020 will coincide with Visit Malaysia Year 2020, thus the expo is an opportune time to promote our beautiful country,” he added. — Bernama