Saudi-Malaysia relations to flourish: Ambassador

KUALA LUMPUR: Saudi Arabia and Malaysia’s long-standing relationship will continue to grow in other sectors such as tourism and economy, said the country’s ambassador to Malaysia, Mahmoud Hussien Saeed Qattan (pix).

“Currently, the two countries are working together through the Saudi-Malaysian Joint Committee which is expected to initiate its first meeting in the near future to boost trade volume and joint investment development,“ he said in his speech in conjunction with the 89th Saudi National Day celebration here, Wednesday night.

He said trade value between the two countries last year reached US$4.35 billion (RM18.25 billion), with US$3 billion (RM12.58 billion) making up Saudi Arabia’s export to Malaysia.

About 2,000 guests attended the event

Also present were Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Salahuddin Ayub, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Dr Mujahid Yusof, foreign ambassadors, senior government officials and the Saudi Arabian community in Malaysia.

Saudi Arabia National Day is celebrated on Sept 23 every year to celebrate the formation of the Kingdom by King Abdulaziz Abdul Rahman in 1932.

Touching on the tourism, Haj and Umrah sector, Qattan said Saudi Arabia’s tourist arrivals to Malaysia increased to 112,000 tourists in 2018 compared to 96,000 tourists in 2017.

He also said that the number of Umrah pilgrims from Malaysia had increased to 284,000 in 2018 compared to 249,000 in 2017.

Meanwhile, he said Malaysians will also have the opportunity to obtain tourist visas to explore various areas and cities of Saudi Arabia.

According to media reports, Saudi Arabia is expected to launch a new tourist visa on Sept 27 that will allow citizens from 51 countries, including Malaysia, to visit the country. — Bernama

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