PM's visit to Saudi Arabia to enhance cooperation, explore new bilateral cooperation - ambassador

22 Mar 2023 10:06am
For illustration purpose. - Foto 123RF
For illustration purpose. - Foto 123RF
JEDDAH - Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's visit to Saudi Arabia is expected to further enhance bilateral relations and cooperation between Malaysia and the Middle Eastern country, as well as to explore new bilateral cooperation.

Malaysian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Datuk Wan Zaidi Wan Abdullah said during the three-day visit, the prime minister is scheduled to have an audience with the King of Saudi Arabia King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed Salman Abdulaziz Al-Saud, who is also the Prime Minister.

"This meeting will give the leaders the opportunity to discuss issues and bilateral cooperation of interest as well as explore new cooperation opportunities to strengthen the relationship between the two countries," he told a press conference here today.

Anwar, accompanied by his wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, is expected to arrive at King Abdulaziz International Airport at 6.40 am local time (11.40 am Malaysian time).

Also accompanying the prime minister are Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir and Minister of Communications and Digital Fahmi Fadzil.

This is Anwar's first visit to a country outside of ASEAN since appointed as Prime Minister on Nov 24 last year.

Wan Zaidi said the prime minister is also scheduled to meet with the Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Hissein Brahim Taha and the Secretary General of the Muslim World League (MWL) Sheikh Dr Mohammad bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa.

He said the Prime Minister will also visit the Islamic Development Bank here, where he is scheduled to deliver a keynote address.

"These meetings will be a platform for the Prime Minister and the relevant leaders to discuss various issues of interest involving Malaysia.
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"They will also serve as a vehicle for the Prime Minister to explore economic opportunities that the Malaysian business community can venture into in Saudi Arabia, as well as to promote Malaysia as a major investment destination in the Southeast Asian region," he said.

He said several Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) are expected to be signed involving cooperation between government agencies of the two countries and the private sector.

The Prime Minister will also take the opportunity to meet Malaysians in Jeddah, he added.

Wan Zaidi said the prime minister's visit would reflect the close bilateral relationship between Malaysia and Saudi Arabia, one that is built on mutual trust and partnership.

"This symbiotic relationship has benefited the people of both countries from the cooperation implemented in various sectors," he added.

According to Wan Zaidi, Saudi Arabia was the largest trading partner, the third largest export destination and the largest source of imports in the West Asian region last year (2022) with bilateral trade amounting to RM45.52 billion (USD10.26 billion), an increase of 159.2 percent compared to the previous year.

He said total exports to Saudi Arabia increased by 43.8 percent for the same period, amounting to RM7.28 billion (USD1.66 billion), while total imports from Saudi Arabia recorded an increase of 205.8 percent amounting to RM38.24 billion (USD8.60 billion). - BERNAMA

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