KUALA LUMPUR, April 30 — The Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) is urging Malaysian companies in the construction, infrastructure development, building materials, tourism and various services sectors to explore opportunities in Madinah following the Saudi Arabian government’s efforts to boost the city’s presence globally.
Deputy chief executive officer Sharimahton Mat Saleh said Saudi Arabia is undergoing a major transformation in its effort to realise Saudi Vision 2030.
“In the vision, Saudi Arabia will roll out various initiatives to reduce the nation’s dependency on oil, diversify the economy, and develop public service sectors such as health, education, infrastructure, recreation and tourism.
“This only means there are ample opportunities for Malaysian companies to explore, beyond the traditional sectors,” she said in a statement today.
Sharimahton said it is timely for Malaysian companies to look to Saudi Arabia, particularly Madinah, for opportunities by leveraging on the trust both nations have for each other.
“This good relationship is a strong foundation for Malaysian companies to establish business relationship with the Saudi counterparts,” she said.
However, Sharimahton advised Malaysian companies to fully equip themselves with market knowledge and strategies to do business in Saudi Arabia before entering the market.
“Every market is different and requires various adjustments and enhancements, and this is why it is important for them to engage with Matrade,” she said.
Sharimahton said the trade agency has various connections with industry players and authorities in Saudi Arabia, such as the Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority (Sagia).
“We can facilitate their linkages in the market through our office in Jeddah so that these companies can have the necessary intelligence for their businesses,” she said.
Matrade organised a seminar in collaboration with Sagia yesterday at Menara Matrade themed “Construction and Services Sector Opportunities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” to provide insights on the opportunities in Madinah.
The seminar highlighted opportunities in the construction and infrastructure sector as well as professional services such as the development of the integrated City of Dates, Knowledge Economic Cities, townhouses, hotels, a centralised entertainment hub, a tourist resort as well as malls, water theme park and outdoor sport facilities.
The Saudi Arabian investment agency is also currently organising a trade mission to Malaysia.
There are over 25 Malaysian companies involved in various businesses in Saudi Arabia, namely in construction-related services, hotel management services, restaurant and catering services, charter services for umrah and haj, power generation as well as civil engineering services.
Last year, Malaysia’s total trade with Saudi Arabia grew 45.2 per cent to RM21.67 billion from RM14.92 billion in 2017.
Malaysia’s exports to Saudi Arabia were valued at RM3.77 billion while imports were recorded at RM17.90 billion in the same year.
For the first three months of 2019, trade with Saudi Arabia further expanded by 64.1 per cent to RM6.19 billion. — Bernama