Malaysia: UAE business women look at opportunities in Islamic Finance and Halal food

KUALA LUMPUR: United Arab Emirates (UAE)’s leading businesswomen are looking into investment opportunities to work with Malaysians in two areas – Islamic finance and halal food.

President of the Abu Dhabi Business Women Council and chief operating officer of Al Jaber Group Fatima Al Jaber said Islamic finance and halal food were the two mutual areas that Malaysia and UAE could work together.

“Islamic finance is a very important sector that Malaysia is pioneering and I chair an investment bank (in the UAE). We are looking into investment opportunities in Malaysia,” she told Bernama after the UAE – Malaysia Power Ladies Roundtable 2011 here today.

Al Jaber is among ten influential UAE businesswomen who are in Malaysia for the Power Ladies UAE-Malaysia Roundtable 2011 tour. The Power Ladies tour, organised by Inside Investor, runs from December 5-9 and is aimed at providing the UAE guests with a greater understanding of the business opportunities available in Malaysia.

She said UAE offered huge opportunities for Malaysians in many areas included leisure, hotel, sports, property, healthcare and education.

“UAE is a consumer market. The sports and healthcare industry are growing. Education is another area. We have all types of school and universities in the UAE. There is also a great demand for certain types of properties there,” she said.

She also said that financial services were another area Malaysians could tap  as foreigners were currently involved in the business in the Emirates.

“The should be two-way (business ties)…Malaysians should come to UAE and venture into these areas,” she added.

The Power Ladies group also mentioned that three important areas that they would look into before venturing into businesses in Malaysia were government rules regulations, taxation and the business environment.

The group, over the previous two days, met Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz, Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation chief executive officer Dr Wong Lai Sum, chief executive officer of the Malaysian Investment Development Authority Datuk Noharuddin Nordin, SME Corp Chief Operating Officer Datuk Hafsah Hashim.

Today, they are scheduled to meet the Prime Minister’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and Duli Yang Maha Mulia Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Nur Zahirah. — BERNAMA

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UAE ‘power ladies’ explore bilateral investment ties opportunities with Malaysia

KUCHING: United Arab Emirates (UAE) businesswomen visiting Malaysia paid a courtesy call Malaysian Government Chief Secretary, Tan Sri Sidek Mohd Hassan yesterday to explore opportunities for closer business ties between the two countries to boost bilateral trade and investment.

The visitors, who are here to attend the Power Ladies UAE-Malaysia Roundtable 2011 from December 5 to 9, will be visiting leading officials of the government and corporate sector to discover further opportunities in the country.

Dubai Business Women Council president and Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group managing director, Raja Easa Al Gurg noted in a press release yesterday, “I would like to see the embassies of UAE and Malaysia working closely to synchronise business relations and seek out investment windows for both countries.”

Currently, bilateral trade between UAE and Malaysia is estimated at US$6.4 billion.

Abu Dhabi Business Women Council president and Al Jaber Group chief operating officer, Fatima Obaid Al Jaber urged Malaysia to create more visibility for the country’s investment environment, especially in places such as the UAE where investors are keen to tap into the Malaysian market.

Sidek concurred with the ladies as he highlighted that Malaysia was an ideal investment destination as the government intended to go beyond incentives to lure incoming investment.

“We are also training human resources for the needs of investors with a strong focus on the high-tech and the services industy,” he noted this as a step taken in conjunction with the nation’s vision to be a fully developed country by 2020.

Sidek pointed out various transformation programmes that the government led to enhance competitiveness, such as Pemudah, a special task force set up between the public and private sector to simplify the process of doing business in Malaysia.

The task force had been working on easing licensing and immigration requirements and visas for highly skilled talents and investors.

Other topics that the meeting touched on include the unemployment rate in Malaysia, business registration processes, programmes for small and medium enterprises, special incentives as well as the most promising sectors for investment.