Moderated by Firoz Abdul Hamid
Thursday, December 8, began with a media roundtable where Ms Al Gurg, Ms Al Jaber, Ms Al Sayed, and Ms Al Matroushi presented the aims of their mission to members of the Malaysian media and took up questions from the journalists. Ms Al Gurg said that the Power Ladies group was exploring more opportunities in the country and was trying to establish stronger ties between Malaysia and the UAE by pushing forward a bilateral business council.
“We are definitely looking for more business in Malaysia as we can clearly see the opportunities in the country with a culture that is very close to the one of the UAE,” Ms Al Gurg said. One example for possible ventures could be halal food, she added. She also has identified promising fields in research and development, innovation and value-adding manufacturing, but this should be arranged on a government level, she said.
Reacting to media enquiries on what UAE investors would look into first in Malaysia before investing, the Power Ladies said that issues such as tax incentives, easy regulations, low level of paperwork, a welcoming investment environment, and knowledge sharing were the most important factors before taking an investment decision.
Another important point is the low cost of producing goods, Al Gurg answered to a respective media enquiry.
“Business is business. If manufacturing becomes too costly, I would certainly think of shifting my operations to another country.
“Everybody has to keep their overheads down, and even though the UAE and Malaysia are brotherly countries, this does not mean that if I can have the same job done cheaper somewhere else, I wouldn’t go there.”
The Power Ladies were also encouraging Malaysian companies and investors to have a look at the opportunities the UAE is offering.
“There is fertile soil in the UAE for Malaysian investors,” Ms Al Gurg said. “This is why we support an active business council for our two countries. There are big investments going on in the UAE, and our economy is already highly diversified.”
Ms Al Jaber added that the UAE has also been very supportive to women in business over the decades by granting them education and career opportunities. “Today, we have women working in leading positions which earlier were reserved only for men, for example in the oil and gas and the construction sector.”
Event Photo Gallery