KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is looking forward to intensifying efforts on vaccine development with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, said.
In an interview with Emirates News Agency (WAM), Sultan Abdullah said the UAE has demonstrated itself as a friend of Malaysia during this difficult period.
“Both countries could explore and intensify relations in the field of Covid-19 vaccine development and strengthen post-pandemic collaboration in the fields of health, education, food security, agriculture, future technology, renewable and clean energy, halal industry and tourism, just to name a few,” he said.
Sultan Abdullah returned last weekend after a five-day special visit to Abu Dhabi, where he met with Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed Zayed Al Nahyan, who is also deputy supreme commander of the UAE armed forces, and other senior officials.
He said Malaysia placed strong emphasis on relations with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, especially the UAE.
“Malaysia shares many common values with GCC countries. With its strategic geographical location, the UAE in particular has been the main trading hub not only in this region but also in the world for decades,” he said.
Sultan Abdullah noted that in 2019, total trade between Malaysia and the UAE reached US$6.426 billion, a 12.5% jump from US$5.709 billion in 2018.
“Given our strategic location in Southeast Asia, Malaysia is committed to being the gateway for the UAE to enter the Southeast Asian market, which is home to 650 million people,” he said.-FMT