The visit of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to Saudi Arabia is expected to further enhance bilateral relations and cooperation between Malaysia and the Middle Eastern country, in addition to exploring new bilateral cooperation.
The Malaysian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Datuk Wan Zaidi Wan Abdullah said, during the three-day visit, the prime minister is scheduled to meet the King of Saudi Arabia, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed Salman Abdulaziz Al-Saud, who is also the Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia. .
“This meeting will give the leaders the opportunity to discuss issues and bilateral cooperation of interest, in addition to exploring new cooperation opportunities to strengthen the relationship between the two countries,” he said at a press conference here today.
Anwar is expected to arrive at King Abdulaziz International Airport at 6.40am local time (11.40am Malaysian time) accompanied by his wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir and Minister of Communications and Digital, Fahmi Fadzil.
This is Anwar’s first official visit to a foreign ASEAN country and also his first visit to Saudi Arabia since assuming the position of prime minister on Nov 24 last year.
He said the Prime Minister is also scheduled to visit the Islamic Development Bank here and deliver a keynote speech during the visit.
“These meetings will be a platform for the Prime Minister and the relevant leaders to discuss various issues of interest involving Malaysia.
“This meeting is a vehicle for the Prime Minister to explore the economic opportunities that Malaysian businessmen can venture into in Saudi Arabia as well as to promote Malaysia as a major investment destination in the Southeast Asian region,” he said.
He said, several memorandums of understanding are expected to be signed involving cooperation between government agencies of both countries and the private sector, besides Anwar will also take the opportunity to be friendly with Malaysians in Jeddah.
“I am happy to inform you that this visit reflects the close bilateral relationship between Malaysia and Saudi Arabia, which is built on mutual trust and partnership.
“This symbiotic relationship has benefited the people of both countries from the cooperation implemented in various sectors,” he said.
Wan Zaidi said in 2022, Saudi Arabia will be the largest trading partner, the third largest export destination and the largest source of imports in the West Asian region with bilateral trade amounting to RM45.52 billion (USD10.26 billion), which is an increase of 159.2 percent compared to the previous year.
He said, total exports to Saudi Arabia increased by 43.8 percent for the same period amounting to RM7.28 billion (USD1.66 billion), while total imports from Saudi Arabia recorded an increase of 205.8 percent amounting to RM38.24 billion (USD8.60 billion).