The GCC-Malaysian Trade Investment Forum concluded here yesterday with two sides signing accords to implement joint projects especially in education, infrastructure and training.
“The two-day event will strengthen GCC’s presence in Malaysia,” said Abdul Rahim Naqi, secretary-general of the Federation of Gulf Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the main organizer of the event.
He said the forum’s main recommendations focused on the importance of ensuring transparency and implementation of law in order to strengthen mutual confidence.
It also called for conducting economic feasibility studies for the agreed investment projects. The forum resulted in the signing of a number of economic and investment agreements.
Naqi said the forum would strengthen investment and business relations between Malaysia and the GCC.
Malaysia is one of the major tourist destinations in the Muslim world.
A report by the Malaysian Ministry of Tourism said 250,000 visitors from the Middle East go to Malaysia every year.
Gearing up to b the investment destination for South East Asia, Malaysia has started to offer a wide spectrum of investment opportunities. “The technologically-inclined economy of Malaysia is proven through the country’s involvement in advanced electronics manufacturing, R&D, biotechnology, photonics, logistics, design, innovation, and a highly-automated manufacturing sector,” a Malaysian diplomat said.
Malaysia and the GCC have signed a framework agreement on economic, commercial, investment and technical cooperation last January. The agreement is seen as a precursor to a free trade agreement between Malaysia and the GCC, the diplomat said.
Trade between the GCC and Malaysia reached $11 billion, according to a recent report from the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation.
International Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Mukhriz Mahathir said in his speech at the same event that the signing of the Malaysia-GCC Framework Agreement in the areas of economic, commerce, investment and technical cooperation would eventually pave the way for a free trade agreement between Malaysia and the GCC sooner than later.
Mukhriz, who officiated at the function, said that areas such as Islamic finance, property development, infrastructure and education could be investment opportunities for both Malaysia and the CGG countries.