Malaysian companies, in particular those involved in the production of construction machinery as well as equipment and materials, hope to enhance their presence in Qatar, availing of the buoyancy in the country’s construction industry.
Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) is showcasing the southeast Asian nation’s prowess in the Project Qatar 2013 expo at the Doha Exhibitions Centre.
Matrade CEO Dr Wong Lai Sum said Malaysian companies have been doing business with Qatar for quite some now and recent results have been encouraging.
“Construction firms in Qatar have executed some prestigious projects, including highways and stadia facilities and are again in the forefront of the activities in the construction sector,” said Dr. Sum, referring to the 35 companies present at the exhibition.
“Our main focus this year is on construction and professional services, building materials and information and communication technology,” said the Matrade CEO. He said exports have been crucial for the economic fortunes of Malaysia and a sizeable share of its exports these days are materials, equipment and machinery for the construction industry.
“Our service sector has shown phenomenal growth in recent years and, according to the latest figures released by our ministry of trade, stand at 20%, compared to the previous year, making it the fastest growing export of Malaysia.
Stressing a point, she said wood products from her country, mainly panels and moulds, have been in great demand in Qatar and this constitutes a major chunk of imports to Qatar.
Electrical fittings and electronic products from Malaysia have carved a niche for themselves in different regions across the world, including in the Middle East, she said.
Dr. Sum said Malaysia-Qatar trade stood at more than $1.5bn last year, with just $200mn in imports by Qatar. “We have been buying considerable quantities of petrochemical products from Qatar in recent years,” she said.
The Matrade official also recalled that last year Malaysian companies bagged orders worth approximately QR170mn at Project Qatar. “Many of that equipment are already in use in Qatar’s oil and gas industry, as cranes and rigs,” she noted.
Dr. Sum said she is also looking forward to the prospects of setting up joint ventures in construction industry between companies from Malaysia and Qatar as she felt the opportunities arising out of the ongoing boom in infrastructure building in this country is unlimited.