PUTRAJAYA: Qatar is looking into prospects to increase investments in the health and hotel services sectors in Malaysia in the near future, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.
The Prime Minister said in health services, investments could be made through Qatar’s collaboration with Khazanah Nasional Bhd and IHH Healthcare Bhd, as well as cooperation with Khazanah in third countries.
He was speaking at a news conference after meeting Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim Hamad Al-Thani at the end of the Emir’s two-day visit here today.
“In the hospitality industry, we discuss (with Sheikh Tamim) about prospects in Kuala Lumpur, Sabah, Langkawi, etc. After that, follow-up actions will be taken, hopefully, we will be able to realise an increase in Qatari investments in Malaysia.
“Malaysia and Qatar have established good bilateral relations for the past 43 years and the Emir’s visit this time around enables us to look into the aspects of the bilateral ties and how we can further strengthen this relationship, especially in the economy,” the Prime Minister said.
Najib said bilateral trade between Malaysia and Qatar for the January-August period increased 36.5 per cent to US$384.4 million from US$300.5 million in same period last year.
However, in 2016, he said bilateral trade between Malaysia and Qatar declined as many major projects involving Qatar were completed but with the latest development, the trend was very encouraging.
On the other hand, Malaysia has a lot of interests in Qatar, especially in the services sector, he said, citing the presence of Malaysia Airport Holdings Bhd, Gamuda Bhd, Sime Darby Bhd, UEM Bhd, UEM Builders, WCT Engineering Bhd and Muhibbah Engineering Bhd, among others, in the Gulf state.
“Qatar also has several big investments in Malaysia, including their participation in the Kuala Lumpur Pavilion through Qatar Investment Authority, Kuala Lumpur City Centre through Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company and a resort in Chendring, Terengganu through M�venpick Resort & Spa Chendering,” he said.
On Qatar’s preparation to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Najib hopes Malaysian companies would be given the opportunity to participate in its infrastructure development.
“We (Malaysian companies) can participate in tender exercises that they have, relating to the construction of stadiums and other facilities, and also the supply of halal foods and things like that,” he added.