Malaysia looks to Qatar for investment in tourism, infrastructure

Ambassador says Qataris view Malaysia as a key holiday destination
A general view shows Malaysias landmark Petronas Twin Towers. (Mohd Rasfan/AFP/Getty Images)
By Staff writer
Sun 08 Jan 2017 02:03 PM

Malaysian officials are tapping Qatar for inward investment, particularly to develop the Southeast Asian country’s $15 billion tourism industry, according to a media report.

Ahmad Jazri Mohamed Johar, the Malaysian ambassador to Qatar, told Gulf Times that there is high demand to visit Malaysia among Qataris.

Malaysia is considered a family-friendly holiday destination, and an established honeymoon haunt, Johar reportedly told the newspaper.

“On this basis, we are making efforts to make sure that Malaysia is better known as an investment destination hence, we are trying to bring Qatari investors to Malaysia and invest in the country’s tourism sector,” he was quoted as saying.

Among the top holiday destinations the Malaysian government is working to promote to foreign investors is Langkawi, the ambassador said. A business networking event was held in Doha last month to discuss investment opportunities on the island, he added.

Apart from tourism, Malaysia is hoping to attract more Qatari investment in infrastructure projects, on which the government plans to spend billions of dollars over the next two to three years, including its $15 billion mass rapid transit project and a 400 kilometres high-speed rail link between Malaysia and Singapore.

Johar estimated that the total value of Qatari investments in Malaysia is between $12 billion and $15 billion.

“We have been working for many years to attract investments from the Middle East,” he was quoted as saying. “We would like our Muslim brothers to come and see what we have. We are a very reputable Muslim country. In terms of security, families that visit us feel very safe.

“These are among the things we want to promote all the time and we want more Qataris to learn from their friends who have been to Malaysia about their beautiful experiences in the country.”

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