Malaysia and Qatar are doubling up efforts to strengthen both countries’ trade and economic relations, according to an embassy official, who stressed that the Southeast Asian nation “very much welcomes” the new legal reforms announced by the government aimed at attracting more FDI to Qatar.
“The reforms announced by the Qatari government are very much welcomed not only by Malaysia, but also by other countries looking at the potential that foreign investments could contribute to the economy and vice versa.
“We believe the Qatari government is very serious in attracting more FDI to Qatar,” Malaysian embassy charge d’affaires Mohamed Shahir Sabarudin told Gulf Times on the sidelines of the MoU signing between engineer Ammar Rayess, managing partner of Qatar-based company Atmosphere Projects, and Shamsul Kahar bin Haron, the CEO of International Islamic College (IIC).
Sabarudin emphasised that the Malaysian Embassy in Qatar is expecting more Malaysian companies to invest in Qatar, citing the MoU between IIC and Atmosphere projects, which aims to establish an institution in Qatar that offers education from the kindergarten to university level.
“Besides, these are efforts being exerted by both countries so that trade and economic relations would grow further. Just recently, we had the Joint Trade Commission (JTC) where HE the Minister of Commerce and Industry Ali bin Ahmed al-Kuwari was in Malaysia.
“This is the second JTC held by Qatar and Malaysia where both countries held many engagements and in different sectors that fall under the umbrella of the JTC, so we are looking forward to working towards that direction of having stronger economic relations between Malaysia and Qatar,” Sabarudin emphasised.
Similarly, Haron said, “This is our first time to venture in Qatar, and we most welcome these new laws announced by the Qatari government because it makes it easier for foreign companies to do business in Qatar. Looking at Qatar, the government welcomes many international companies and encourages them to do business here.”
On the MoU, Haron said IIC will focus on “bridging the gap between primary and secondary school with university.”
“Based on the study we made, there are more than 350 international schools in Qatar, and we are here to offer education from primary to secondary and further to university level, and even up to students who want to pursue a master’s degree. The beauty about this collaboration is that we will provide a one-stop centre in terms of education,” Haron said, adding that IIC is one of the private higher education institutions in Malaysia wholly owned by the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM).
Rayess said the Islamic University of Malaysia in Doha will be built on 22,000sq m area in Umm Salal Ali with an investment of QR120mn, and is expected to accommodate 2,575 students. He said the project is a partnership between Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah Group and the IIUM, adding that construction work will the start in January 2020.