Malaysia looks to boost trade with Qatar

March 19, 2014 - 11:36:52 am

Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim bin Mohammad Al Thani (left), Chairman of the Qatar Chamber, Dr Wong Lai Sum (centre), CEO, MATRADE and Ahmad Jazri bin Mohammed Johar, Malaysian Ambassador to Qatar, inaugurating the Malaysian Trade Centre yesterday. Kammutty VP

DOHA: Bilateral trade between Qatar and Malaysia has dropped by 20.8 percent from $1.58bn (QR5.75bn) in 2012 to $1.25bn (QR4.55bn) in 2013 after recording 30.7 percent growth in 2012, latest data provided by Malaysian government officials show. 

The Qatar-Malaysia bilateral trade volume over the last several years has increased significantly. Since 2005, when total trade value was merely about $150m (QR546.2m), has now grown by more than ten-fold.

According to the statistics complied by the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), bilateral trade between the two countries peaked in 2011 to reach at $1.69bn (QR6.15bn), registering a whopping growth of 325 percent compared to $398m (QR1.45bn) in 2010. Qatar is the third largest trading partner of Malaysia in the GCC region, after Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and 30th largest in the world. 

Qatar’s major import items from Malaysia include equipment and engineering, machinery, appliances, wood products and other manufacturing goods, but the volume of Qatar’s imports from this Fareastern country has decreased by 7.85 percent to $220.23m in 2013 from $239m in 2012. Malaysia’s imports from Qatar have also dropped by 23.2 percent from $1.34bn in 2012 to $1.03bn in 2013. Malaysia’s major imports from Qatar include cured oil, refined petroleum, LNG, chemical and petrochemical products and manufactures of metal. 

Malaysia is striving to enhance its trade volume with Qatar and taking a host of steps to promote bilateral trade and investments between two countries. 

Aiming at exporting high quality Malaysian products to the West Asian markets, including Qatar, MATRADE yesterday inaugurated a dedicated facility, ‘Malaysia Trade Centre’ (MTC) to tap business opportunities in the region. The idea of establishing a trade centre was mooted by the Malaysian Prime Minister during the visit of Qatar’s former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister in December 2011.

Occupying an area of 584 sqm, the centre showcases Malaysian products and services in a sophisticated and contemporary environment. 

The MTC is expected to provide information on Malaysian businesses across diverse industries. There are huge opportunities to discover the ideal business partner from Malaysia’s leading companies for sourcing of high quality products and services.

The Peninsula

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