KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) is urging business players in the construction and oil and gas (O&G) sectors to tap into the huge business opportunities in Kuwait.
Matrade director of professional and business service Zulkepli Mohd Perai said the Gulf country is now embarking on a massive infrastructure development, with more than 1,100 projects estimated at US$150 billion to be developed within the next five years.
He said Kuwait has opened doors to Malaysian companies for strategic collaboration in a bid to speed up the country’s infrastructure development progress.
"Right now, there aren’t many Malaysian companies undertaking construction projects in Kuwait, as compared to other Gulf countries like Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, due to lack of collaboration opportunities.
"However, the country now welcomes Malaysian companies to participate in its various development projects as it has high confidence in the standard of our local companies that have garnered global recognition," he told a meeting session with the Kuwait's Al-Salam Group Holdings Company here yesterday.
The session, organised by Matrade, was to discuss business opportunities in Kuwait for Malaysian companies. Also present was founder and advisor of the group, Dr Ali Al-Shamali.
Among the projects in Kuwait are the new business hub called Silk City, which is estimated at US$77 billion, port construction, a 25-mile causeway as well as the railway and metro system infrastructure.
"The Kuwaiti government is not only aiming at reducing the country's dependence on oil but also looking at measures to increase the production of oil and natural gas," Ali said.
"This is also one of the efforts to make Kuwait a financial and trade hub in the region through sustainable economic development," he added.
Kuwait was ranked fourth most active construction market in 2012, with US$8 billion worth of deals awarded.
The largest of these was the long-awaited US$2.6 billion deal to build the Subiya Causeway, which had been in the pipeline for almost a decade.
Transport construction accounts for 76 per cent of total construction expenditure in the country.
Al Salam Group was formed in 1997 and is listed on Kuwait stock exchange. The conglomerate, via its 33 subsidiaries, operates in various business sectors including finance and investment, telecommunication, real estate, construction, O&G.
The group is open for collaboration with Malaysian companies, especially those in the construction and O&G sectors.