Ambassador says Proton cars have good reputation in Saudi Arabia and hopes more can be exported there.
KUALA LUMPUR: Although trade relations between Saudi Arabia and Malaysia have improved, there was still room for expansion such as in the automotive sector, its Ambassador to Malaysia Fahad Abdullah Al-Rashid said.
He said that it would be good if Malaysian-made cars could further penetrate the Saudi market, apart from food items like palm oil and halal products.
“There are Proton cars in Saudi Arabia but the number is limited. We hope it will increase in the future because the product is good,” the envoy told Bernama in a recent interview held at the Saudi embassy here.
Reports said that Riyadh-based Al-Rashed & Al-Thunayan Auto Co is Proton’s exclusive distributor in Saudi Arabia, appointed by Proton since 2006.
In 2008, Proton Persona hit the Saudi Arabia market after selling well two of its previous models, Proton Waja and Proton Gen 2.
Al-Rashid also hoped trade relations could be elevated to the next level with the visit of Saudi Arabian Commerce and Industry Minister Dr Tawfiq Al-Rabiah within the next three months. He is expected to discuss how to expand bilateral trade.
“We have high hopes on this visit, especially in expanding bilateral trade because trade relations are not at the same level as diplomatic relations between Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.”
In this regard, he urged traders in both countries to visit each other’s country and participate in any trade exhibitions held either in Malaysia or Saudi Arabia.
According to reports, trade between the two nations rose 30% to USD4 billion in 2014 from USD3 billion in 2013.
The ambassador said the official figures for 2015 had yet to be released.
He said that Malaysia imported petrochemicals and food from Saudi Arabia and exported mostly electronic goods to the kingdom.