KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 22 (Bernama) -- The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Malaysia will witness positive developments in all fields in the future, said Saudi ambassador to Malaysia Datuk Dr Mahmoud Hussein Saeed Qattan.
He said the Saudi government under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud who is the Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister is keen to strengthen and develop the bilateral relations between Riyadh and Kuala Lumpur in all areas in the common interests of the two brotherly countries and its peoples.
The ambassador said the Saudi government saw the same orientation and keenness from the Malaysian government headed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
Qattan pointed out that during the past decades, the Saudi-Malaysia relations witnessed numerous visits and meetings between leaders and officials of the two countries.
"The bilateral relations since the establishment of diplomatic relations until today are very good and making ground to develop these relations for a better future," he said in an interview with Bernama in conjunction with the kingdom's 92nd National Day on Sept 23.
The modern Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was established by King Abdulaziz Al-Saud in 1932.
Qattan explained that Saudi Arabia and Malaysia had old and long relations before Malaysia’s independence in 1957, via trade exchanges and the arrival of Malaysians to Saudi to perform Haj and Umrah.
These relations, he said, have developed and strengthened more after Malaysia’s independence, and it had resulted in the establishment of profound diplomatic relations between the two countries.
"This reflect back to the strong relations between the two brotherly Saudi and Malaysian peoples, and the various common features and values that both countries share. The most important is the true Islamic religion and the keenness of the two countries and its peoples in the implementation of the correct Islamic teachings based on principles of moderation, tolerance and the rejection of violence and terrorism," he further said.
On the current areas of cooperation, he said these are in the field of economics, commercial, investment, cultural and tourism, and pointed out that although the level of cooperation in these areas are good, but has still not reached the level that reflects the size of the capabilities available in the two countries, nor the strength of the historical relations between the two countries.
Qattan said as a tropical country with dense forests and rains, Malaysia can contribute and offer its experiences in this field and it is also possible that the two countries cooperate together in exchanging experiences in the fields of renewable energy and green hydrogen, as well as cooperation in food security.
"Malaysia can also cooperate with the Kingdom and contribute to the projects and initiatives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, such as the initiatives by the Crown Prince “Green Saudi Arabia” and the “Green Middle East” which aim to raise vegetation cover, reduce carbon emissions, combat pollution, develop land and wildlife and marine life by planting 10 billion trees in the Kingdom as well as planting 40 billion trees in the Middle East," he said.
Qattan also explained that the progress of trade volume between the two countries in the last two years has been affected as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The volume of bilateral trade between Saudi and Malaysia in 2019 amounted to about US$4.3 billion while in 2020 it was was about US$3.8 billion.
"However, with life returning to normal again after easing of the precautionary measures, the volume of bilateral trade jumped during the first half of 2022 by 104 per cent, compared to the same period in 2021, where the volume of trade amounted to US$3.6 billion," he further said.
The ambassador also highlighted that Malaysia has opened a regional office in Jeddah, for the trade of palm oil, rubber and Malaysian timber, and this office has begun to show positive results.
"Therefore, I am optimistic about the progress of the volume of trade in various sectors, given the capacities and capabilities of the two countries," he said.