Malaysian PM to visit Yemen [Archives:2007/1028/Front Page]

February 26 2007

Mohammed Al-Jabri
SANA'A, Feb. 24 ) Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is due to visit Yemen on Tuesday to enhance bilateral cooperation in trade, tourism and education.

On Saturday, Shoura Council Chairman Abdulaziz Abdulghani met with Malaysia's Ambassador to Yemen, Abdul Samad Othman. They discussed Badawi's visit and bilateral relations between the two countries, especially focusing on Yemeni-Malaysian economic partnerships.

They affirmed that the prime minister's visit will enhance relations between Yemen and Malaysia.

Yemeni Ambassador to Malaysia Abdul Nasser Munibari said Badawi's visit could pave the way for more business opportunities between the two nations' private sectors.

Munibari noted that Yemen offers broad-based business opportunities, particularly in the infrastructure and construction sectors, as there are numerous opportunities to build hospitals, universities and hotels.

“The Malaysian private sector enjoys a good reputation in Yemen and the Yemeni people admire Malaysians,” he said, adding that Badawi's visit is a cornerstone in Yemeni-Malaysian relations.

According to Munibari, such relations actually began with trade links dating back more than 600 years ago.

“However, it's only in the past nine years that the two nations have established diplomatic relations formally. Since then, two-way trade between Malaysia and Yemen has flourished,” he added.

Ties between the two countries also have expanded into education, tourism and health.

Munibari also noted that moderate Islamic teachings advocated by Malaysia and Yemen have enabled Kuala Lumpur and Sana'a to enhance cooperation in education.

“Many Malaysian students now are studying in Islamic schools in Yemen, while more than 2,000 Yemeni students have enrolled in various tertiary learning institutions in Malaysia,” he pointed out.

Currently, Malaysian companies have ventured into Yemen's oil and gas sector, while several Yemeni firms have invested in Malaysia's palm oil, trade, freight and shipping services.

Munibari heralded the latest Yemeni investment in the new Islamic bank in Malaysia, wherein Yemeni investors hold a 20 percent share, as an example of future relations between the two states.