DUBAI – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak expects bilateral trade and investment between Malaysia and United Arab Emirates (UAE) to further strengthen in the coming years as businesses in both countries continue to engage in strategic partnerships, including in the fast-growing world of Islamic finance.
“The UAE continues to be an important trading partner for Malaysia, ranking 14th overall and first among our Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) trade partners,” Najib said this at the roundtable meeting with UAE investors here yesterday.
Najib said bilateral trade between Malaysia and the UAE in 2013 was US$8.81 billion, an increase of 11.7 per cent on the year before while total exports increased to US$4.02 billion, and imports reached US$4.78 billion.
Najib, who is also the finance minister, said UAE was the second largest GCC investor in Malaysian manufacturing sector, creating over 3,400 jobs.
UAE investors also featured prominently in the services sector; from the National Bank of Abu Dhabi in financial services to Jacob Fleming in the shared services and outsourcing sector, he said.
“Emirati multinationals have made substantial investments in Malaysia, which have greatly benefited both our countries’ economies.
“Malaysia is proud to be the hosts of several distinguished projects and the various UAE representative and regional Offices.
“We are also pleased to see Malaysian firms playing their parts in the UAE’s breathtaking development,” Najib said.
Najib revealed that there are 50 Malaysian companies operating in the UAE, from logistics to interior design, and multiple construction projects worth almost US$5 billion.
The roundtable meeting, organised by Ministry of International Trade and Industry and Malaysian Investment Development Authority, is held in conjunction with the 10th World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF).
Also present were Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed and Advisor to the Prime Minister’s Department, Tan Sri Dr Ir Jamaluddin Mohd Jarjis.
Najib, who is the patron of the WIEF Foundation, is here for a three-day working visit which ends Thursday. – BERNAMA