ABU DHABI, Oct 7 —  Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s working visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Thursday and Friday only lasted for about 36 hours, but that short period was not an obstacle for Malaysia to reap great benefits, especially in terms of investment from the gulf country.

Prime Minister’s packed schedule started on Thursday with a meeting with UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan who is also the Ruler of Abu Dhabi, as well as several senior ministers in charge of the economic affairs, trade and investment, the stakeholders of UAE’s sovereign wealth fund, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), and major companies.

The 36-hour visit has secured investment commitments amounting to RM40.6 billion (US$8.6 billion) in sectors such as renewable energy, aerospace and logistics.

Among them was the signing of  a memorandum of understanding between the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA)  and Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company PJSC-Masdar for renewable energy projects in Malaysia with a capacity of up to 10 gigawatts worth US$8 billion.

Other investment commitments include US$450 million in the logistics sector and US$150 million in the aerospace sector.

During the meetings, Anwar gave assurances that Malaysia is committed to advancing renewable energy as well as improving the ease of doing business in the country.

“When you come to Malaysia, you can see it for yourself, see the changes from what you observed five or three or even two years ago.

“I want to prove a point – now things are much better and it is easy to do business due to clear determination and effective leadership as we want to make sure things function effectively,” he said during a roundtable meeting with Captains of Industry in the UAE.

He said the government would identify several suitable locations for foreign investors interested in the renewable energy sector.

This following Malaysia becoming an attraction for foreign investors looking to invest in the sector, he added.

The UAE media described the good ties between the UAE and Malaysia are due to the close personal relationship between the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and Sheikh Mohamed, who have cultivated a profound bond since their military training days at the prestigious Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS) in the United Kingdom during the late 1970s.

“His Majesty also played a major role in strengthening relations with the UAE, for his good and close relationship with Sheikh Mohamed,” said the Prime Minister at the end of his visit.

Anwar also visited the Masdar City, known as the world’s first planned sustainable city.

He said Masdar City is developed in a sophisticated, modern way and meet green requirements and also have the world-class Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI), the first university specialising in AI.

With the success of his visit, the Prime Minister said it is now up to the government’s leadership and the relevant ministries and agencies to turn it into a reality that would benefit the country and its people.

Meanwhile, Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said that in the field of renewable energy, it is more effective for MIDA and Masdar, as agencies in their respective countries, to look at Malaysia as a country that produces renewable energy.

He said that in addition to the investment commitments reached during the visit, there are several investments in Malaysia that are still under negotiation such as in the food technology, food security, hospitality, manufacturing and data centre sectors.

“Following this visit, many follow ups will be done for more investment for the country,” he added.

The UAE is currently the largest investor in Malaysia from the West Asian region and the second largest among the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation member states.

To date, implemented investments from the UAE amount to US$388.8 million (RM1.48 billion) in various manufacturing projects in Malaysia.


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