Katanning welcomed Malaysian Consul-General to discuss potential business and tourism boost

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Tom ShanahanGreat Southern Herald
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Ahmad Fikri Zakian and Liz Guidera.
Camera IconAhmad Fikri Zakian and Liz Guidera. Credit: Tom Shanahan

Members of the Consulate-General of Malaysia travelled down Great Southern Highway last month to meet with senior members of the Katanning community and discuss potential tourism and business partnerships.

Lost Katanning director Arthur Todd, mixed farmer David Thompson, and Shire of Katanning president Liz Guidera welcomed Consul-General Ahmad Fikri Zakian on his first trip to Katanning at the council chambers by exchanging small tokens of appreciation.

The group discussed ways Katanning and Malaysia could expand on the upgraded partnership between Australia and Malaysia earlier this year.

The meeting was told Malaysia already had billions of dollars invested in WA, and Perth was a popular destination for Malaysian tourists.

Ms Guidera said Katanning largely missed out on that interest.

Mr Todd led the initial negotiations by discussing why Katanning could offer a unique travel experience post-COVID because of the town’s strong multicultural nature.

He also spoke of how opening up flights into Katanning could help fast-track Malaysian tourists into the region.

Ms Guidera and Mr Thompson talked about Katanning’s production of high-quality agricultural and halal-certified products and how a partnership with Malaysian markets could be mutually beneficial.

Mr Zakian said Malaysia could be a “springboard” to Asian markets for Great Southern producers and that Katanning’s strong multicultural community made it a place of interest for tourists.

“When international borders open, I am sure many Malay will be interested in WA and travelling their way towards the South West and Katanning,” he said.

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