PH, Malaysia renew vow to enhance trade, investment ties

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim reaffirmed Wednesday their commitment to further elevate the trade and investment relations between Manila and Kuala Lumpur. The two leaders renewed their plan to enhance the two nations’ trade and investment cooperation on the second day of Marcos’ state visit to Malaysia. ‘We also agreed to enhance our trade and investment ties with each other,’ Marcos said after his bilateral meeting with Anwar, emphasizing the importance of further cultivating the bonds and friendship between Manila and Kuala Lumpur. Marcos said he and Anwar also agreed to resume the 8th Joint Commission Meeting, the two countries’ main bilateral consultative mechanism which will be hosted by Kuala Lumpur in October this year. He said the resumption of the joint commission meeting would enable the two countries to explore synergies for future partnerships. ‘We do this so that our government agencies will have an avenue to discuss priority cooperation in detail, most especially in the areas of transnational crimes, agriculture, halal industry, Islamic banking, education, tourism and culture, sports, and the digital economy,’ Marcos said. ‘We continue to work on the corresponding MOUs (memorandum of understanding) in these fields and will have them signed in the near future.’ Marcos said the two nations also sought closer coordination to assist the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao in the development of halal industry, Islamic banking and food security. Malaysia, he said, has made an offer to train the Philippines to strengthen its capabilities in improving the sectors that they plan to improve. ‘It has been an important part of whatever success that we might enjoy today. And that has been a foothold, a further foothold for us to use to continue to develop and promote the relations between our two countries,’ Marcos said. Marcos said he and Anwar also reaffirmed their commitment to support the two nations’ activities within the context of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA). He said they agreed that they could explore multilateral lines to address present issues faced by and promote bilateral relations among ASEAN. ‘This will be an important aspect to all the issues that ASEAN is presently facing and to all the issues that the member-states are presently worrying about,’ he said. Post-pandemic future Prior to his bilateral meeting with Anwar, Marcos had a royal audience with Malaysia’s King Al-Sultan Abdullah and Queen Azizah. Marcos said he discussed with the Malaysian King and Queen the long-standing relations and strong economic linkages between the Philippines and Malaysia. Marcos was accorded a state welcome ceremony, including a 21-gun salute, upon his arrival at Istana Negara (Malaysia’s National Palace). He was personally welcomed by the King and Queen of Malaysia, as well as Ibrahim and his wife, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail. During his meeting with the Malaysian King and Queen, Marcos stressed the need to examine and restrengthen the Philippines and Malaysia’s relationship as they gear toward post-pandemic recovery. ‘It is time for us to really examine that relationship and restrengthen that relationship and that, for me, is the most important aspect of this visit that I have made to Kuala Lumpur, to Malaysia,’ Marcos said. ‘I believe that it is the way for us to refocus our efforts together to mutually beneficial initiatives for our two countries and to see how we can help one another as we face the post-pandemic future.’ Marcos said post-pandemic scenario is a very different road that the two nations now face, compared to what they had to deal with before the pandemic. He said the two countries’ memberships in ASEAN and the BIMP-EAGA still continue to strengthen their relationship as they come back and start to emerge from the difficult period in the last two and a half years of the pandemic. He added the two countries must recreate and transform themselves to be competitive and be part of a new world order. ‘We will play a very large part in that transformation. And that transformation is going to strengthen and made more stable by this partnership that we make with each other,’ Marcos said. ‘And so, it becomes more and more important for me that these partnerships we will foster on a cultural level and the people-to-people (diplomacy) now continue to be expanded and to gain stature in the way that we promote that relationship between our two countries.’ Marcos arrived in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday afternoon for a state visit

Source: Philippines News Agency