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Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah with Qatar Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed Abdulrahman Al-Thani during a joint press conference at Perdana Putra. - NSTP/AHMAD IRHAM MOHD NOOR.

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia and Qatar are ready to ramp up cooperation in various sectors, especially in trade and investment.

Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Abdulrahman Al-Thani said it was committed to continue discussions and dialogues in areas of investment and enhancing economic cooperation including encouraging more Malaysian companies to come to Doha.

“We are confident that Malaysian economy is going to grow especially with the visions that we have heard from the prime minister (Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad),” he told reporters after the restricted and delegation meetings between the two countries here.

Sheikh Mohammed said Qatar encouraged more Malaysian companies to come to Doha and participate in the development sector especially in terms of infrastructure projects that were ongoing for the upcoming World Cup and beyond the World Cup in 2022.

“There are already a number of Malaysian companies that have done well over there (in Doha).

“The cooperation between the two nations are brotherly friendly, a relationship that we have been enjoying for decades. We have investments in Malaysia, which are doing very good,” he said.

The deputy prime minister added Qatar had agreed to activate a joint business council between the two countries, adding a platform would be set up to supervise all sectors of the relationship with Malaysia including in economy, trade or political as well as other potential areas.

Sheikh Mohammed also said aside from boosting economic cooperation, Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Hamad Al-Thani and Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had also taken the opportunity to discuss regional affairs especially regarding the conflicts in the Muslim world and the situations in Yemen, Syria as well as the Rohingya people.

“Both leaders are seeing eye to eye about these issues. They have agreed these conflicts need to end and the people need to be provided with jobs and solutions.

“We have discussed bilateral cooperation in the area of international development where we can capitalise on the capacity within the Malaysian government in providing technical assistance while Qatar provides foreign aid to different countries.

“There are wide range of potential cooperation between both nations and our leaders aim to elevate the relationship between the two countries,” said Sheikh Mohammed.

Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said the seriousness to forge greater ties between Malaysia and Qatar would see the two foreign ministers scheduled to hold their meeting tomorrow.

“It is straight to business for both of us because after a delegation meeting it usually takes a month later to have (follow-up) meetings.”

Saifuddin said the two countries had also agreed that both sides should meet often and have better insight of the huge potentials that Malaysia and Qatar could tap into.

Malaysia, he added was pleased that Qatar stood ready to increase its investment in Malaysia, as well as the invitation extended to the Malaysian private sector to continue engaging in Qatar’s economic development.

“Both sides acknowledged the need to explore the enormous potentials available and to encourage networking between various business entities from the two countries,” he said.

Sheikh Tamim’s visit to Malaysia, he said, was also in conjunction with the 3rd Sheikh Tamim Anti-Corruption International Excellence Award, scheduled to be held at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC) tomorrow.

Putrajaya will be the third city to host the event after Vienna (2016) and Geneva (2017).

The convening of the event in Malaysia, Saifuddin said, was therefore timely and consistent with the Government’s aspiration.

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