Yemen hopes to improve trade with Malaysia amid a better economic situation at home, said its Charge d’Affaires to
Malaysia, Mohammed Alashabi.
He said Malaysian companies could invest in many areas -- commercial, energy, oil and infrastructure sectors.
"The opportunities are there and there are few obstacles," he told Bernama in an interview.
Alashabi said last year, bilateral trade stood at over US$200 million.
"I do not have the exact figures of how it will be this year. I am sure, with the better economic situation in Yemen now, we expect it will improve," he said, when asked on bilateral trade target for this year.
He said trade volume could also perk if a business council was set up to facilitate business between the two countries.
"From Yemen, we have seafood products (fresh or processed) coffee, honey, leather and fruits while Malaysia is one of the biggest producers and exporters of cooking oil to Yemen and to the Middle East," he said.
"We have Proton in Yemen, and it is doing well," he said.
Alashabi said there were also Malaysian companies investing in electronics (Pensonic) and in the mining sector, especially gold.
On the services sector in Malaysia, he said, the presence of many Yemeni restaurants here was good for both countries as it could attract tourists from the Arab countries.
Alashabi said sometimes it was difficult for Yemenis who wanted to work in the restaurants to get visas, adding that there were some 70 Yemeni restaurants in Malaysia.
He said bilateral relations were excellent and there were no problems with "movements of people and goods between the two countries".
Alashabi said he would also like to see more high-level visits in the future.
"Currently there are some 7,000 Yemenis in Malaysia, comprising students, businessmen and investors," he said.
In a move to attract more Malaysians to visit Yemen, he said, the embassy here planned to organise events to promote the country which has a lot of historical attractions.
Alashabi has been in Malaysia for two months.
Prior to this he has been posted to India, Iran and Pakistan.
Yemen is currently making efforts to implement a political transition through inclusive and comprehensive dialogue and negotiations.
The United Nations-backed National Dialogue Conference for a "New Yemen," which focuses on the government’s future and a New Constitution, is ongoing.
Alashabi said Yemenis were optimistic about the country’s future and everyone was interested in a 'New Yemen'.-- Bernama