Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi yesterday hailed the cordial relations between Qatar and Malaysia and said he was positive about increasing the volume of trade between the two countries.
“At the moment bilateral relations with Qatar are good. We are seeing the participation of Malaysian companies in Qatar, especially in the development of infrastructure,” Badawi said at a press conference for the Malaysian press corps accompanying him and the local media, on the last day of his visit to Qatar.
Badawi acknowledged the excellent job Malaysian companies have been doing here, mentioning in particular the construction of the new airport, in which a major Malaysian company is involved.
Badawi expressed optimism about augmenting the volume of Malaysia’s trade with Qatar. His successful Doha visit also saw talks on the possibility of cooperation in the promotion of Islamic banking and finance.
“I think it is timely that we begin to walk together, to cooperate together to establish common standards and practices for all Islamic banks, even those operating in non-Muslim countries,” he said.
In this regard, a discussion by experts in Islamic banking is being considered, with Kuala Lumpur as the venue.
Badawi also highlighted efforts to strengthen the Malaysian economy amid the global financial crisis. “We decided that one way of ensuring our economy will remain resilient is to make sure that our banking sector remains strong, and we have taken steps to ensure that our domestic economy is equally strengthened by encouraging more domestic consumption,” he said. He took note of the good performance of Malaysia’s manufacturing and trading sector, currently ranked 18th in the world.
Acknowledging the efforts of Malaysian expatriates in Qatar, he attributed the rise in the number of those working here, mainly professionals, to their capabilities and expertise.
Asked about his view on the Israeli military offensive in Gaza, he expressed his hope for a permanent ceasefire and immediate end to the crisis, which affects thousands of innocent people.
“Efforts are already being made and I hope these efforts will reconcile them (Hamas and Fatah) again and lead to a government of national unity.”
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