Malaysia looks to improve bilateral relations with Saudi Arabia & UAE

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Official Reporter
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Malaysia will expand its bilateral cooperation with Saudi Arabia and the UAE in a more comprehensive and strategic direction, and rebuild the confidence among the business community.

Given the significance of bilateral trade between both countries, Malaysia External Trade Development Corp (Matrade) organized a series of business meetings with prominent Saudi and UAE companies, during a recent trade mission led by International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.

Healthcare services, facility management, medical devices, furniture, palm oil, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), and lifestyle products were among the selected sectors for cooperation.

Matrade has stated that one of the major importers of Malaysia’s palm oil in Saudi Arabia, Savola Group, is committed to increasing their sourcing of palm oil from Malaysia. “The group wants to make Saudi Arabia as their distribution hub for other parts of Gulf Cooperation Council, and the Middle East and North Africa markets,” the company said.

The goal is to expand markets for Malaysian palm oil exports into the region, as discussed during Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s March visit to the country.

Savola is also one of Saudi Arabia’s largest grocery store chain operators, and it has recently launched an eCommerce marketplace called Pandaclick, which contributed to the country’s thriving eCommerce sector.

To further facilitate Savola Group’s strong interest, Matrade invited them to Malaysia, specifically during the Malaysia International Halal Showcase, which will be held from September 9 to 12 this year. Matrade is also committed to organizing a special sourcing program for Savola.

According to the Matrade, “Makkah Healthcare Cluster, an administrator of a medical city, nine public hospitals and 82 public health centers in Makkah, is willing to work closely with Malaysia’s healthcare providers or hospital operators to jointly develop the Makkah Healthcare Cardiac Institute, Makkah Healthcare Oncology Institute and a nursing school in Makkah. They also plan to work with Malaysian suppliers of medical products and services for their facilities.”

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