Taib to lead trade delegation to Qatar

DOHA: Sarawak will send a trade delegation to Qatar as a follow-up to the meeting between Qatari Prime Minister Sheik Hamad Jassim Jabor Al-Thani and Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.

Taib headed an investment delegation to the two-day ‘Inside Investor Forum Asia 2012’ here recently.

The delegation will forward the detailed written proposals to Qatar Investment Authority and Qatar Holdings as suggested by Sheik Hamad  Jassim Jabor Al-Thani during the meeting, which was also attended by heads of both authorities.

Taib said his discussions with the Qatari prime minister also covered areas of long-term investments like roads construction and electricity generation projects.

Those interested will be given reports on the feasibility studies to enable them to decide what kind of returns they could get from their investments.

He invited potential investors from the Gulf States to visit Sarawak to acquire first-hand knowledge that there was plenty of land for food production here.

He assured investors that Sarawak’s legal and legislative systems, inherited from the British, provided sufficient safeguard for their investments. The local laws had been developed to cope with the latest demands from investors.

He gave assurances that there was no restriction on the movements of money in Malaysia as the country understood that it was important for investors to be able to repatriate their profits anytime they like.

He said the Arab countries were more familiar with investment opportunities in the West. But the world had changed and more opportunities were emerging in Asia than in the West.

For example, the expansion of economic activities in countries in South East Asia was only second to China, which had been experiencing massive growth during the last two years.

Taib said areas that continue to develop quickly would be areas of rapid industrialisation. South East Asia today is only second to China in terms of economic potentials for development.

Besides, countries in South East Asia can still accommodate more development in relations to resources, land and food which ought to be explored as much as possible. It is a matter for investors to acquaint themselves with business opportunities in the region.

The Gulf States, with the creation of wealth totalling more than US$1.5 trillion from oil, should find countries in South East Asia, which have been making efforts to boost their own economy and to have a common market, an attractive place to invest if they consider widening the base of their economy, he said.

Obviously, Qatar will continue to enjoy quite a lot from the preference for cleaner energy.  But, perhaps, it could look into areas of food production with the growing demand in the global market and strengthen its ties with countries in this region.

Besides, Malaysia or even Indonesia has not been industrialised to its full potential, Taib pointed out.

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