Malaysia As ASEAN Gateway For Saudi Enterprises

Malaysia and the Kingdon of Saudi Arabia are seeking to forge a greater trade relationship when MITI Minister Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali hosted His Highness Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud, the Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and his delegation when both reaffirmed their commitments to strengthen bilateral trade and investment.

Malaysia has welcomed the Kingdom’s aim to leverage Malaysia’s position as the ideal gateway for Saudi Arabia’s enterprises to penetrate ASEAN market as well as the larger Asian market through the mega Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) comprising 15 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. This would be particularly strategic in view of the recently launched Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) of which Malaysia is a partner country.

Both nations also highlighted the possibility of establishing a Malaysia-Gulf Cooperation Council trade agreement toward greater economic integration between Malaysia and Gulf members. Drawing shared aspirations between Malaysia’s National Investment Aspirations and the Kingdom’s 2030 Vision, Dato’ Seri Azmin welcomed Saudi businesses to explore trade and investment opportunities with Malaysian companies, particularly in high-tech manufacturing projects and emerging industries. In this regard, both parties concurred on the imperative of the businesses being led by the private sector.

The Senior Minister reaffirmed the Government of Malaysia’s endorsement of the Kingdom’s bid as the host for the World Expo 2030 with the theme, “The Era of Change: Leading the Planet to a Foresighted Tomorrow”. He added that Malaysia’s
expression of firm support is founded upon the confidence in the Kingdom’s excellent infrastructure, technological advancement, and resources as well as its forward-looking transformation under a highly capable leadership so crucial in order to deliver a world class expo.

Saudi Arabia was Malaysia’s second-largest trading partner, third-largest export destination, and the largest source of imports among West Asian nations in 2021. Since 1957, the strong and enduring diplomatic ties between Malaysia and the Kingdom have afforded both nations significant opportunities to expand bilateral trade and investment cooperation. Malaysia achieved a total trade of RM17.56 billion (USD4.23 billion) with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2021, and as of April 2022 had secured a total trade of RM10.42 billion (USD2.47 billion), a marked increase of 98.2% as compared to RM5.26 billion (USD1.29 billion) for the corresponding period in 2021.

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