KOTA KINABALU: Foreign direct investment (FDI) is on the upward trend and Sabah expects to surpass the RM7bil mark with anticipation of more high-impact investment soon.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said so far this year, there was a total of RM5.1bil foreign investments as compared to RM4.4bil worth of investments in June last year.
“This also effectively ranks Sabah as the third biggest in foreign investments in Malaysia,” he said at a dinner hosted for the Council of Arab Ambassadors at the Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC) here on Friday (Aug 19) night.
Hajiji, who is also the state Finance Minister, said he was confident that Sabah will remain an attractive destination for investment.
“I have said from the onset that we want to be investor-friendly and we will ease all hurdles to facilitate all investments,” he added.
In this respect, Hajiji invited the Council of Arab Ambassadors to consider Sabah, where the state Government has made possible a conducive environment for investors.
The Chief Minister said Malaysia’s trade with some Arab countries has been good.
For example, he said Malaysia’s total trade with the state of Qatar increased by 130.2% to RM2.87bil, as compared to RM1.25bil for the same period in 2021.
Similarly, Malaysia’s total trade with Saudi Arabia increased by 116.7% to RM16.98bil as compared to RM7.84bil (USD1.91bil) for the same period in 2021.
The ambassadors will also be briefed during their visit here by Invest Sabah Berhad, the state’s investment arm on Sabah's potential and investment opportunities.
"I hope this briefing will give a deeper insight into exploring collaborations and building win-win partnerships,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Dean of the Arab Diplomatic Corps in Malaysia and Yemen's Ambassador to Malaysia, Dr. Adel Mohamed Ali Ba Hamid said that their visit to Sabah was historica.
“After Covid-19 that hit the whole world, we believe that the time is right for us to join hands and help to overcome the impact of the pandemic,” he said.
Dr Adel said in this respect, the Council of Arab Ambassadors in Malaysia decided to visit states in the country, including Sabah and look for business opportunities.
Apart from Dr Adel, the others in the nine member diplomatic delegation were Somalia Ambassador, who is Dean of the African Corp, Abukar Abdi Osman, United Arab Emirates Ambassador Khalid AlGhaith, Saudi Arabia Ambassador Mahmoud Hussein Saeed Qattan and Jordan Ambassador to Malaysia Thamer Abdalla Mohammad Adwan.
Other members of the delegation are Palestine Ambassador Walid Abu Ali, Qatar Fahad Yousef Kafoud, Libya Ambassador Mohamed A.M. Attia and the Charge D’Affaires of the Republic of Sudan Omer Mahgoub Ahmed Oushek.