LONDON: Thani Al-Zeyoudi, the Emirati minister of state for foreign trade, and Tengku Zafrul Aziz, the Malaysian minister of investment, trade and industry, discussed ways boost trade and investment ties between their countries. Their meeting took place during a visit to the UAE by a delegation of senior trade officials from Malaysia.
During the talks, Al-Zeyoudi praised the existing strong relations between the nations and reaffirmed the UAE’s commitment to expanding the opportunities available to the business communities in both, the Emirates News Agency reported on Thursday.
They also reviewed the status of negotiations to develop a UAE-Malaysia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. The meeting was the second between the ministers since discussions about the agreement began during a visit by Abu Dhabi’s crown prince, Sheikh Khaled bin Mohammed, to Kuala Lumpur in May.
Their first meeting took place in Jakarta during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Business and Investment Summit in early September, and the talks reflect the UAE’s desire to strengthen its ties with Malaysia and the wider ASEAN bloc, officials said.
“Malaysia is a valued partner for the UAE in an increasingly important region, one which shares our vision of leveraging global trade to accelerate growth and diversify the economy,” Al-Zeyoudi said.
“Malaysia’s support for open, rules-based trade, transparent dispute-resolution mechanisms and a greater voice for the developing world in trade policy will help deliver a conference of lasting impact,” he added.
Tengku Zafrul said: “We are keen to bolster our ties with the UAE, a nation that continues to gain importance as a strategic trading partner for Malaysia.
“Situated at the crossroads between East and West, the UAE offers immense opportunities for our exporters and their efforts to expand into global markets.”
The ministers commended recent growth in non-oil bilateral trade, which reached a total value of more than $2.226 billion during the first half of 2023. They also expressed the aim of increasing foreign direct investment.
The UAE is Malaysia’s second-largest commercial partner in the Middle East, accounting for 32 percent of its total trade with Arab countries.