KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 17 (Bernama) -- Malaysia is looking to boost and diversify its trade relations with Kuwait through an exploratory visit by the Malaysia-Kuwait Business Council in April.

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said the visit, involving 15 council members, would explore other economic sectors, including infrastructure and the consumer market.

"This is a natural progression in our ties.We started from a very low base and moved up as we become closer. It is essential to have a business council to further promote ties to complement what we do on the government side," he added.

Mustapa told reporters this after officiating the Malaysia-Kuwait Business Council inaugural meeting here Tuesday.

Trade between Malaysia and Kuwait was at a staggering US$1.8 billion in 2014 from the RM840 million in the previous year, comprising heavy exports of crude and refined petroleum.

Moving forward, Mustapa said it would be challenging to maintain the trade volume, given the volatility in global oil prices.

"It is going to be a big drop if the current trend prevails, unless there is some recovery in prices," said the trade minister.

Meanwhile, Malaysia-Kuwait Business Council Chairwoman Tengku Datuk Nong Fatimah Sultan Ahmad Shah said both countries were looking at business opportunities and establishing relationships for the business communities.

"We will try to do as much as we can during the visit to Kuwait," she added.