Mustapa To Lead Trade Mission To Three Arab Countries

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 2 (Bernama) — International Trade and
Industry Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed will leave Sunday for a
week-long trade and investment mission to Qatar, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

The delegation will include representatives from the Halal
Industry Development Corporation, Construction Industry Development
Board, Professional Services Development Corporation and Iskandar
Regional Development Authority.

Officials from the Ministry of International Trade and Industry,
Malaysian Industrial Development Authority, Malaysian External Trade
Development Corporation, SME Corporation Malaysia and senior executives
from Malaysian companies will also participate in the mission.

“The mission will update the business community in the countries
visited on the current economic situation as well as trade and
investment opportunities in Malaysia.

“It will also promote Malaysia’s products and services, strengthen
business networking and establish collaborative initiatives and joint
ventures,” the ministry said in a statement Friday.

During the visit, Mustapa will meet industry captains and relevant
authorities to highlight trade and investment opportunities in Malaysia
and measures undertaken by the government to strengthen the economy,
stimulate growth and address the effects of the global economic

“The first Joint Trade Committee meetings with Qatar and Egypt
will be held in Doha and Cairo on Oct 5 and Oct 7 respectively to
address bilateral trade and investment issues and proposals to enhance
mutually beneficial economic cooperation programmes,” the ministry said.

Qatar, Egypt and Saudi Arabia are Malaysia’s important trading partners.

In 2008, Qatar was Malaysia’s eighth largest trading partner among the 15 West Asian countries.

Total trade in 2008 stood at RM1.8 billion with exports amounting to RM835.5 million and imports RM935.4 million.

Trade with Qatar between January and July 2009 amounted to RM1.1
billion, an increase of 22.2 per cent over the same period last year.

Qatar has significant investments in the Malaysian real estate
sector while Malaysian investments in Qatar were mostly in the
construction sector.

Egypt is Malaysia’s second largest trading partner among African
countries with trade totalling RM2.7 billion in 2008. Malaysia’s
exports to Egypt amounted to RM2.4 billion while imports RM359.7

Total bilateral trade in the first seven months of 2009 increased
27 per cent to RM1.8 billion compared with RM1.4 billion registered in
the same period in 2008.

“This is an indication that bilateral trade for 2009 could surpass last year’s performance,” the ministry said.

As at December 2008, investments from Egypt amounted to RM20.8
billion in wood and wood products, machinery and equipment for oil and
gas industry and, souvenirs and giftware.

Malaysian investments in Egypt are mainly involved in the oil and
gas related industries, palm oil, distribution of automotives and
autoparts, as well as smart card technology.

Saudi Arabia was Malaysia’s second largest trading partner in the
West Asian region in 2008 with total trade amounting to RM11.1 billion
or 20.3 per cent of Malaysia’s trade with the region and 0.9 per cent
of Malaysia’s global trade.

Exports to Saudi Arabia amounted to RM3.5 billion and imports
RM7.6 billion in 2008 while in the January-July period this year, trade
with Saudi Arabia amounted to RM4.1 billion.

As at December 2008, Saudi companies implemented three
manufacturing projects in Malaysia involving a capital investment of
RM80.6 million in electrical and electronics, textile products and
services sector including ICT-related, property and financial services.