Minister of International Trade and Industry Rafidah Aziz has unveiled
a package of incentives designed to boost Saudi investment in the
manufacturing and other sectors. The minister spelled out details of
the scheme at a Saudi-Malaysian investment seminar held here
seminar was attended by a large gathering of Saudi businessmen led by
Abdulrahman Al-Jeraisy, president of the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce
and Industry. Malaysian Ambassador Wan Mokhtar Wan was also present.
Al-Jeraisy said plans were afoot to set up a Saudi-Malaysian Business
Council as part of a bilateral move to boost trade and investments. An
agreement will be signed at the next session of the Saudi-Malaysian
Joint Economic Commission.
the seminar, Aziz said the signing of five bilateral agreements
between May 21,1974 and Oct. 25 last year had given a push to
bilateral trade mostly in favor of Saudi Arabia, whose exports to
Malaysia stood at $633.3 million last year.
Saudi Arabia is the second most important market for Malaysian
products in the Middle East, it only accounted for 0.3 percent of the
country’s total exports.” Aziz called on Saudi businessmen to
source their imports competitively from Malaysia, especially in the
automotive, construction, food processing and manufacturing sectors.
to the Saudi exports, she said crude oil accounted for $373 million
(58.9 percent of Saudi exports to Malaysia) and petroleum products
$153.2 million (24.2 percent), with petrochemicals making up the rest.
said as part of efforts to foster trade exchange between the two
countries, Malaysia has already relaxed entry procedures for Saudis by
dispensing with the visa requirement.
said Saudi businessmen would find lucrative business opportunities in
Malaysia’s manufacturing sector, the main engine of growth, that
recorded a value-added growth rate of 21 percent and accounted for
33.4 percent of the GDP last year.
addition, Saudis could consider investing in the Malaysian equity
market. Currently, the price earning ratio of the shares in the
Malaysian stock market is undervalued, indicating that the Malaysian
stock market has growth prospects.”
Malaysian minister said her country welcomes and supports the
Kingdom’s accession to the WTO. She said Saudi students were welcome
to study in Malaysian institutions of higher learning. Last year, she
pointed out, the country issued 18,866 student visas to foreign
students. Of these, only 23 were from Saudi Arabia.
said Malaysia had become an attractive destination for Saudi tourists.
Last year, 27,808 Saudis visited Malaysia, the largest tourist
arrivals from the Middle East.