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Saturday, May 08, 2010

Najib to witness six MoUs in Cambodia

PHNOM PENH: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is expected to witness the signing of six business agreements worth US$1bil during his three-day official visit to Cambodia beginning Sunday.

The five business agreements will be between the private sectors of both countries while another agreement will be signed between a Malaysian company and a Cambodian government agency.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen will join the visiting premier on Monday to witness the inking of all agreements covering education, ICT security, halal industry, agriculture, training and retail sectors.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman told Malaysian journalists here that Najib’s first official visit to the country, after assuming office April last year, was very significant in further cementing bilateral ties between both countries.

Malaysian Ambassador to Cambodia Datuk Pengiran Mohd Hussein Pengiran Mohd Tahir Nasruddin disclosed that total trade volume between the two countries amounted to US$150mil last year.

About 90% of the trade involved Malaysian exports of textile, palm oil, food and beverage while the remaining 10% constituted Malaysian imports of rubber, textile and rice, he said.

Mohd Hussein said there were vast opportunities for Malaysians to explore Cambodia’s services sector such as education, healthcare, construction, halal industry, tourism and, oil and gas.

Malaysia, with an investment of US$1.8bil, is currently the fourth largest investor in Cambodia after China, Korea and Vietnam.

The ambassador said Malaysian investment in Cambodia included the manufacture of sports apparel, hotels, education, banking and fast food chains.

“Trade and investment between both countries are expected to be intensified as the region moves towards becoming an Asean Economic Community by 2015 which allows the free movement of goods, capital and people,” he added.

Mohd Hussein called on Malaysian businessmen to consider Cambodia seriously as it was also located in the Mekong basin comprising Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam with a population of 100 million people.

Najib and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor are scheduled to arrive at the Phnom Penh International Airport, here, at 7.05pm (Malaysian time: 8.05pm) on Sunday.

A total 117 Malaysian businessmen will join the Malaysian delegation during the official visit.

On Monday, the prime minister is expected to attend the wreath laying ceremony at the Independence Monument, call on Hun Sen and later hold bilateral talks at the Council of Ministers, here.

Najib will then hold a dialogue with Malaysian investors and businessmen in Cambodia before he is joined by Hun Sen at the Malaysia-Cambodia Business Forum and Luncheon. Both leaders will then witness the signing of the six business agreements.

Najib is also scheduled to visit Hello Axiata Operations Centre here, a Malaysian-Cambodian telecommunication joint venture, and later visit the construction site of the new complex which will house the Embassy of Malaysia.

Meanwhile, Rosmah will have a separate function on Monday by visiting the Kantha Bopha IV Hospital and the Bun Rany Hun Sen High School.

Najib and Rosmah will conclude their second-day visit by attending the official dinner hosted by Hun Sen and wife Bun Rany.

On the final day, Najib will have an audience with King Norodom Sihamoni at the Royal Palace. The visiting premier will also call on the President of the National Assembly Heng Samrin and President of the Senate Chea Sim.

Najib and Rosmah are scheduled to depart Phnom Penh International Airport for home at 11.30am (Malaysian time:12.30pm) on Wednesday. -- Bernama

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