DUBAI: Companies present in the Malaysia Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai inked five multi-million dirhams worth of MoUs with UAE-based enterprises in a bid to spur sustainable agriculture between the two nations as part of efforts to strengthen economic ties between Malaysia and the UAE.
The Malaysian companies also exchanged three other MoUs with companies from Egypt, Germany, and Maldives bringing the total number of MoUs to eight, all worth over AED173 million (MYR197 million) in potential trade and business opportunities.
Dubbed as the highlight of the Malaysia Pavilion’s Sustainable Agriculture Week at the ongoing Expo 2020 Dubai, the partnerships formalised with the exchange of MoUs at the programme’s launch today will help Malaysia promote and expand its potential in sustainable agriculture by establishing strong engagement and strategic partnerships with the UAE and other global players.
According to the Minister of Agriculture and Food Industries Malaysia (MAFI), Datuk Seri Dr. Ronald Kiandee, the MoUs include extensive cooperation in research and development, trade and distribution, market access, commercial activities, investments, technology transfer, as well as sales and marketing of products and services.
According to the minister, this will significantly boost the Malaysian government’s sustainable agriculture efforts and contribute towards combating climate change.
Key areas of focus outlined in the MoUs include biodiversity to wellness, fruits of the tropical land and its by-products, smart urban farming, smart farming solutions, and waste-to-wealth. Special focus will also be given to culinary sustainability, cutting-edge agricultural technologies and solutions, and investment opportunities for agricultural sustainability.
The week-long event, which kicks off from Monday, 21st February, to Friday, 26th February 2022, will attract more than 2,000 visitors and delegates. With more than 20 Malaysian companies and organisations taking part, the event also aims to attract global collaborations and knowledge-sharing platforms to create new opportunities and fresh solutions to address COVID-19, poverty, and climate change through sustainable agriculture.
While delivering the keynote address on behalf of the minister, Mohd Tarid bin Sufian, Malaysian Ambassador to the UAE, said, “Malaysia has been at the forefront of seeking sustainable solutions that address the prevalent bottlenecks in food production, safety, and security. Malaysia’s Sustainable Agriculture Week at Expo 2020 Dubai is an important initiative that will spur and enhance investment and collaboration opportunities in sustainable agriculture and fuel the fight against climate change. We believe that UAE’s commitment to innovative thinking and sustainable development in key areas of focus will complement Malaysia’s direction towards technology adoption and modernisation in sustainable agriculture.”
During the much-awaited event, Malaysian companies will also launch and showcase some of their most sought-after agricultural products and services and use the platform to break into the regional market using the UAE as a gateway.
Historically, the UAE has been Malaysia’s largest trading partner in the Middle East, with total trade between the two nations exceeding US$6 billion in 2019.
“It is evident that due to its growing popularity and influence in the trade and financial sectors in the region, the UAE stands out as an important partner for Malaysia. Our cooperation and partnership will help Malaysian agricultural producers easily access new markets in sustainable agriculture not just in the UAE but in the entire Middle East region. Malaysia will also serve as the gateway for UAE products and services in Southeast Asia,” Kiandee noted.
The Malaysian sustainable agricultural strategy is anchored on its Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 and MAFI’s National Agrofood Policy 2.0 of 2021-2030 which collectively emphasises the adoption of new technologies and digitalisation in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Senator Datuk Iskandar Dzulkarnain Abdul Khalid, Chairman of Malaysian Bioeconomy Development Corporation (Bioeconomy Corporation), said, “As the implementing agency for Sustainable Agriculture Week, Bioeconomy Corporation strongly promotes the adoption of technological innovations especially those related to bio-based and biotechnology, which support and grow sustainable agriculture in Malaysia.” ”Dubai has been at the forefront of adopting such value-driven technologies, including hydroponic technology and vertical farming, to boost its fruits and vegetable production. This is the direction that Malaysia is getting ready to take on more activities to enhance its agricultural productivity and most importantly, to open up more opportunities to access new healthy and sustainable-based products for Malaysia and UAE.”
The Sustainable Agriculture Week is one of the 26 weekly trade and business programmes hosted by the Malaysia Pavilion. The Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation Malaysia is the lead ministry for Malaysia’s participation at Expo 2020 Dubai with Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Corporation as implementing agency.