Saudi-Malaysian trade on expansion course

Updated 27 April 2015

Saudi-Malaysian trade on expansion course

Trade relations between Saudi Arabia and Malaysia have been positive and on the rise, especially in recent years, says Khairul Annuar Abdul Halim, trade commissioner at the commercial section MATRADE in the Consulate General of Malaysia, Jeddah.
In 2014, trade between the two countries increased to $4.02 billion compared to $3.06 billion in 2013, he said, adding that there are indications that the bilateral trade will significantly increase in the future.
For Malaysia, Saudi Arabia is a very important country; the Kingdom is the 19th trade partner of Malaysia, which imports Saudi oil and oil products, Halim added.
Malaysian exports to the Kingdom include palm oil, palm oil products, electrical and electronics products, machinery and wood products.
“Our expectations are high for this year’s bilateral trade and there will be a substantial increase,” Halim said.
Despite the couple of major major tragedies involving Malaysian Airlines (MAS), there has been no adverse impact on tourism. In fact, tourist numbers in Malaysia have increased. More than 100,000 Saudis visited Malaysia in 2014, Halim added.
He said trade delegations from both the countries regularly visit each other to explore further business opportunities.
Last year, five big trade delegations visited Saudi Arabia and this year seven Malaysian teams are expected to tour the Kingdom.
A delegation of Emkay from Malaysia visited Saudi Arabia in March to showcase property projects at events in Makkah, Madinah and Jeddah.
Emkay’s visit was meant to seek Saudi investors for projects in Malaysia and the response from Saudis was encouraging, he said.
Malaysian investors find the Kingdom’s housing projects attractive, according to Halim. "They see bright prospects in the housing sector as there is tremendous shortage of affordable housing. Malaysians are looking for investment, and exploring joint venture prospects for building affordable homes,” Halim said.
This was the Malaysian company’s first visit to Saudi Arabia and it hopes to see bright investment prospects in the housing sector, he added.
Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) is the national trade promotion agency of the government of Malaysia under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) Malaysia.
As part of MATRADE’s continuous export promotional activities in the Kingdom and in an effort to promote and enhance bilateral ties and economic cooperation, MATRADE Jeddah office is organizing and leading a delegation of six Malaysian companies for a trade visit to Jeddah.
“There is much room for expansion of trade relationship in many areas such as machinery, appliances and parts, building and construction materials, palm oil, processed food and beverages as well as wood products,” Halim said.

Arab News recording exposes Nissan lawyer’s lie on IMF bailout for Lebanon

Updated 01 June 2020

Arab News recording exposes Nissan lawyer’s lie on IMF bailout for Lebanon

LONDON: Arab News has published the recording of an interview with a Nissan lawyer after he denied saying that a bailout of Lebanon by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was linked to the extradition of fugitive tycoon Carlos Ghosn.

The former Nissan chairman fled to Beirut in December from Japan, where he faced charges of financial wrongdoing.

In a story published in Arab News Japan on Saturday, Sakher El Hachem, Nissan’s legal representative in Lebanon, said the multibillion-dollar IMF bailout was contingent on Ghosn being handed back to Japan. 

The lawyer said IMF support for Lebanon required Japan’s agreement. Lebanese officials had told him: “Japan will assist Lebanon if Ghosn gets extradited,” the lawyer said

“For Japan to agree on that they want the Lebanese authorities to extradite Ghosn, otherwise they won’t provide Lebanon with financial assistance. Japan is one of the IMF’s major contributors … if Japan vetoes Lebanon then the IMF won’t give Lebanon money, except after deporting Ghosn.”

On Sunday, El Hachem denied making the comments. “The only thing I told the newspaper was that there should have been a court hearing on April 30 in Lebanon, but it was postponed because of the pandemic,” he said. In response, Arab News published the recording of the interview, in which he can be clearly heard making the statements attributed to him. 

Japan issued an arrest warrant after Ghosn, 66, escaped house arrest and fled the country.

Now listen to the recording: