THURSDAY, 20 DECEMBER 2018, KUALA LUMPUR: As Bahrain maintains a vibrant construction industry in the coming years, the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation - or MATRADE, initiated efforts to create opportunities for Malaysian companies in this prosperous Middle East nation.
Through MATRADE’s Export Acceleration Mission (EAM) for the Services Sector to the Kingdom of Bahrain from 9 – 13 December 2018, a delegation led by MATRADE Deputy CEO, Dato’ Wan latiff Wan Musa met with HE Eng. Bassim bin Yaqoub Al- Hamr, Minister of Housing, The Kingdom of Bahrain. During the meeting, the MATRADE delegation expressed Malaysia’s interest to share the country’s experience and expertise in developing public housing projects in Bahrain and around the world.
“Malaysian companies have strengths and vast experience in the construction related services sector, having been involved in mega projects such as the administrative centre of Putrajaya, Cyberjaya, Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and rail transportation projects,” Dato’ Wan Latiff mentioned. He added, “Our Malaysian construction companies are well qualified and highly experienced. This will serve as strong credentials to be given the opportunity to participate in the construction of social housing projects in Bahrain.”
In the construction industry, Bahrain has a strong focus on transportation and industrial infrastructure, as well as the construction of tens of thousands of affordable housing units. These developments are expected to be among the key drivers of growth for the sector in the near future, with much of this coming from government-backed projects. Strong real estate growth continues with a number of residential, commercial and hospitality developments coming on-line in to the new year of 2019 and onwards.
The MATRADE delegation also included representatives from Malaysian industry players including 12 professional service providers under MWZ Consortium Sdn Bhd. The delegation had earlier attended the 5th Arab Housing Conference that was held from 11-12 December 2018. The conference involving 21 Arab countries discussed important policy initiatives for public housing in the Arab World.
Malaysia was the only non-Arab country which participated in this Conference and were specially invited by the Ministry of Housing Bahrain. The Malaysian delegates were privileged to have the opportunity to share their vast experience in undertaking liveable
township developments in the Malaysia.
One of the delegates, Architect Mustafa Kamal, shared his company’s experience in undertaking the Denai Alam housing development, which is an award winning liveable housing project in Shah Alam. The Minister, HE Eng Bassim welcomed the strong interest presented by MATRADE. He recorded that Malaysia is well renowned for public infrastructure projects and its achievements indeed serve as benchmark for the region. HE Minister also welcomed the forging of a partnership with Malaysia, suggesting closer engagement between the government of both countries. He also invited Malaysian companies to partner with Bahraini
developers to undertake government related projects especially the public housing in Bahrain.
Other programmes organised during the EAM included roundtable meetings with Bahraini companies, and meetings with key organisations such as the Ministry of Housing, Bahrain Economic Development Board, Urban Planning and Development Authority, Bahrain Society of Engineers, Bahrain ASEAN Business Council. A networking dinner jointly hosted with the Malaysian Embassy in the Kingdom of Bahrain was also organised with participation by Bahraini counterparts and the Malaysian diaspora working and living in Bahrain.
During the EAM the consortium offered an integrated service especially in the areas of project management, architectural, engineering, interior design and landscaping Some of key projects under discussion were an immediate parcel of 400 units of 3,300 unit’s township in the west of Manama. In the 5 period from 2015 to 2020, the Bahrain government has plans to build a total of 40,000 units of public houses throughout the country.
According one of the delegates in this tour, also a prominent figure in the construction industry, Datuk Zamri Ahmad, Chairman of MWZ Consortium Sdn Bhd, “This initiative which was spearheaded by MATRADE is a strategic focused approach and will be instrumental in opening up opportunities for Malaysian service providers to get involved in public housing projects in Bahrain. MWZ Consortium Sdn Bhd welcomes any Malaysian contractors and developers to collaborate with us to explore business opportunities in Bahrain”.