DOHA, Bilateral relations between Malaysia and Qatar has remained warm and friendly with the frequent exchange of high-level visits between the two countries, said Ambassador of Malaysia to Qatar Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin.

He said the inaugural state visit by HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to Malaysia in October last year was an important milestone in the countries bilateral relations.

Total bilateral trade between the two countries in 2017 showed a positive trend compared with 2016, at US$672.24 million, an increase of 18.6 per cent compared to 2016’s US$566.62 million,” he said.

In 2017, Qatar was Malaysia’s 39th largest trading partner, 56th largest export destination and 34th largest import source,” he told Bernama at the Malaysian embassy here, on Wednesday.

Fadil also has described relations between Malaysia and Qatar, which have existed for the past 44 years, as strong, characterised by close brotherly relations rooted in common faith, a shared vision and commonality of interest.

The growth of bilateral trade between Malaysia and Qatar remains promising with development projects under the Qatar National Vision 2030, in addition to the ongoing preparations for the FIFA World Cup 2022.

I also wish to emphasize that Doha based Malaysian development and construction companies continue to participate and increase their operations in Doha,” he said.

Qatar also has several investments in the property development sector of Malaysia including its participation in Pavilion Kuala Lumpur through the Qatar Investment Authority, integrated mixed commercial projects KLCC and Movenpick Resort and Spa in Chendering, Terengganu through Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company.

A joint-venture company between KLCC (Holdings) and QD Asia Pacific Ltd, currently are developing an integrated mixed commercial project KLCC Cititower with a gross development value of US$1.3 billion,said the envoy.

Meanwhile Malaysia has invested in several key sectors in Qatar, namely in construction and services.

Among Malaysian companies currently operating in Qatar are Malaysia Airport Holdings, Gamuda, Sime Darby, UEM , UEM Buliders, Eversendai, WCT Engineering and Muhibbah Engineering.

These companies have completed 26 projects in Qatar valued at more than US$3.6 billion.

Asked on the Malaysian community in Doha and in which fields they worked, Fadil said the statistics issued by the local authority indicated that there were approximately 5,000 Malaysians residing in Qatar.

Most of them are Malaysian professionals working in various sectors mainly at Doha based national and international companies.

The Malaysians are well established in Qatar. More than 80 percent had arrived Qatar in 2008 or earlier and are residents in Doha, Al Khor and Wakra,” he said.

Malaysia and Qatar will mark their 44th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations this year.

Source: Nam News Network