Malaysia Pioneers $1 Billion Joint Investment Fund with Qatar


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
January 21, 2009

Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Rais Yatim, in summarizing the result of Prime Minister Badawi's visit to Qatar, announced on Tuesday that PM Badawi and Qatari PM Sheikh Hamad bin Jasim bin Jabir Al-Thani have reached an agreement, in principle, to launch a joint investment fund worth $1 billion.

Badawi and several cabinet ministers arrived in Qatar on Monday for a two-day visit, as a part of his three-country trip beginning in Bahrain and ending in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Without ignoring the importance of growing industries where bilateral relationships already exist, Badawi suggested that Qatar explore projects in aquaculture, agriculture and Halal industries with Malaysia. In his presentation to Qatari investors, Badawi highlighted the incentives available in the three industries in Malaysia.

Badawi is focusing on food production in response to the recent food shortage, and to anticipate future crises. Yatim added the possibility for the countries to collaborate on food-producing projects in a third Muslim country, despite the fact that Malaysia has sufficient land.

Details on upcoming joint projects have yet to be fine-tuned. However, aquaculture is one of the top 10 priority industries in the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE), and it's very likely that any joint operation between Qatar and Malaysia in aquaculture will benefit Sarawak.

Badawi's main agenda in Qatar is to tighten the bilateral relationship between Malaysia and Qatar, especially in social and trade relations. Bilateral trade between the two countries is worth $280 million. Large Malaysian companies like Sime Darby, IJM, UEM and Gamuda have penetrated the Qatari construction sector. Most recently, Sime Darby has nailed a $280 million contract to build an oil platform in Qatar. Another large Malaysian company, Gamuda, built the globally acclaimed Qatar International Airport.

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