EXCLUSIVE: Malaysia’s monarch says his country’s economic ties with UAE are booming

EXCLUSIVE: Malaysia’s monarch says his country’s economic ties with UAE are booming

By Mohammed Jalal Al Rayssi, Executive Director of the Emirates News Agency (WAM)

ABU DHABI, 29th December, 2020 (WAM) – A remarkable growth in bilateral trade and tourism between the UAE and Malaysia is an indicator of huge economic potential, the King of Malaysia told Emirates News Agency (WAM) in an exclusive interview.

"The UAE has been one of Malaysia’s main trading partners in this region. In 2019, total trade between Malaysia and the UAE was valued at US$6.426 billion, an increase of 12.5 percent from US$5.709 billion in 2018," said Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah.

The UAE is also Malaysia’s largest export destination and second-largest source of import in the West Asia region, he added in his first-ever exclusive interview with a media outlet in the Arab world.

"Malaysia and the UAE have a good relationship, especially in trade and investment sectors," the King continued.

"Given our strategic location in the Southeast Asian region, Malaysia is committed to being the gateway for the UAE to enter the Southeast Asian market, which is home to 650 million people.

"As a major hub in the West Asia region, the UAE has always been an important country to Malaysia and serves as a gateway for Malaysia to new markets."

Sultan Abdullah was on a working visit to the UAE last week. It was the third visit since he was sworn in as his country’s monarch in January 2019.

He met with His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and other senior officials.

"I hope that both countries could continue to explore opportunities to further strengthen our economic ties," the King said.

"On the tourism front for example, I am pleased to see the growing number of Emirati tourists visiting Malaysia before COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, more than 11,000 Emiratis visited Malaysia.

"When the borders are reopened, I hope that there would be more tourists from the UAE choosing to visit Malaysia as their preferred holiday destination, adding to their rich, varied and diverse travel experience."

He also talked about his country’s participation at Expo 2020 Dubai. "I am pleased that Malaysia will be taking part at Expo 2020 Dubai 2020, as preparations have been underway."

Malaysia believes that its participation at the international event in Dubai will be an opportunity to display the significant trade and investment potential, and more importantly, "our national story to the world," Sultan Abdullah emphasised.

WAM/Ibrahim Shukralla /Binsal Abdulkader