The GCC-Malaysian Trade Investment Forum began here yesterday with the participation of a large number of business leaders from the two sides.
The two-day forum organized by the Secretariat General of GCC Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry will explore prospects of expanding economic and investment cooperation between Malaysia and GCC countries.
In his opening speech, Malaysian Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry Makhriz Mahathir Mohammed commended his country’s distinguished relations with GCC states, pointing to the growth of investment between the two sides from 10.4 percent in 2010 to 13.4 percent in 2012.
The president of the GCC Federation, Khalil Khanji, said total trade exchanges between the GCC and Malaysia amounted to $ 13 billion in 2011, which is 21 percent more than that of 2007 when the figure was $ 10.7 billion.
He estimated the volume of GCC-Malaysian investments at $ 27 billion in 2011. He said the number of GCC tourists who visited Malaysia reached 200,000 last year.
In addition, there are more than 16,000 GCC students in Malaysian colleges and universities.
The forum will explore prospects of expanding cooperation in key areas such as training and education, property and infrastructure development, agriculture and food security, health care, oil and gas support services, leisure and tourism, Islamic banking and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
The forum provides a critical assessment of current trade and investment climate in Malaysia and encourages multi-lateral cooperation between international investors and role-players, academic institutions, business practitioners and policy makers.
The forum offers a platform for initiating relevant opportunities in critical trade and investment related matters, facilitates the development of competitive investment attraction strategies for FDI and gives a platform for business leaders, policy makers, researchers and academics, from both regions to share ideas, debate and build consensus around trade and investment issues.