PUTRAJAYA, July 30 (Bernama) – Malaysia and the United Kingdom will renew commitment to enhance cooperation in key areas of trade, investment, education and defence.
In conjunction with British Prime Minister David Cameron’s one-day visit to Malaysia, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak held a four-eyed meeting and delegation meeting with his counterpart at Malaysia’s administrative capital today.
In a statement, Malaysia’s Foreign Ministry (Wisma Putra) said Malaysia and the United Kingdom are keen to increase the volume of trade and investment in the coming years.
With trade growing steadily at 2 per cent per annum for the last 10 years, and total trade last year valued at RM17 billion, it said the momentum would be the basis to strengthen trade.
“Investment wise, both leaders recognised that Malaysia’s involvement in the Battersea Power Station Project has generated a lot of interest. Valued at RM41 billion, it is a testament to the ability of Malaysian home grown companies to meet global standards.
“Meanwhile, the United Kingdom also has investment in Malaysia worth RM15.4 billion to date in various sectors such as retail, pharmaceuticals and oil and gas,” it said.
Wisma Putra said Najib also invited more British companies to explore new opportunities and business ventures in Malaysia.
It said both prime ministers also agreed that education has always been one of the pillars of cooperation between Malaysia and the United Kingdom.
“To date, there are more than 17,000 Malaysian students enrolled in various courses in the United Kingdom,” it said.
Wisma Putra said Najib also welcomed the United Kingdom’s offer to assist in improving the teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in Malaysian public schools.
It said the United Kingdom had also launched the “GREAT Year of Education” promotion campaign, which makes Malaysia the hub for promoting its education in the ASEAN region.
Wisma Putra said Najib also welcomed the initiative, which signifies the United Kingdom’s recognition of Malaysia’s position as a centre of education excellence in the region.
On defence cooperation, Wisma Putra said both leaders agreed to further enhance collaboration in this important area of bilateral relations.
It said both prime ministers also discussed a number of regional and international issues, touching on the growing threat of the Islamic State (IS) and terrorism.
“Both leaders agreed that the international community must curb the threat effectively, as the terror group has been targeting youths through social media.
“Malaysia is keen to explore ways to collaborate with the United Kingdom and other international partners in the fight against terrorism,” it said.
Wisma Putra said Cameron welcomed Malaysia’s interest and acknowledged Malaysia’s initiative of moderation in addressing extremism.
In their discussion on the outcome of the voting of a United Nation Security Council (UNSC) resolution to set up an international tribunal on Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH17, Wisma Putra said Najib thanked Cameron for the support given by the United Kingdom Government to the Joint Investigation Team (JIT)-led initiative.
“Cameron reiterated United Kingdom’s continuous support on international efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice,” it said.
Besides the bilateral meeting, Najib hosted a dinner in honour of Cameron, which was also attended by Ministers, senior government officials and business leaders from both sides.
Cameron also attended several business events in Kuala Lumpur organised by the British High Commission.
Wisma Putra said the visit was a manifestation of the excellent bilateral ties between Malaysia and the United Kingdom.
This is Cameron’s second visit to Malaysia in the span of three years, following his official visit to Malaysia in April 2012. Cameron is the first British Prime Minister to visit Malaysia during two consecutive terms.