Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak at a meeting in the Malaysian Parliament in Kuala Lumpur on Monday with External Affairs Minister Professor G.L. Peiris commented on the immediate relevance and practical value of the themes chosen for discussion at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka, underpinning economic development accompanied by social equity. He also said he looks forward to participating in this event.
Prof. Peiris briefed the Prime Minister about the modalities of the Business Forum in which a large number of Malaysian business leaders have shown interest. The minister informed Prime Minister Razak that this event, on the sidelines of CHOGM, will consist of discussions in Colombo, with 460 foreign delegates and an equal number of Sri Lankan entrepreneurs participating, and the submission of the conclusions of these deliberations to President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Hambantota at an event where several Heads of government and business leaders from a wide range of countries will be present. Razak said he appreciates the initiatives being taken by the Sri Lankan government to provide greater facilities for Malaysian entrepreneurs to engage in trade and investment in Sri Lanka.
Prof. Peiris responded that the synergies arising from the advanced technology and extensive capital available in Malaysia, combined with the uniquely high calibre of human resources and conducive enabling environment in Sri Lanka, provides a win -win situation for both countries.
The Malaysian Prime Minister expressed pleasure that Malaysia is today the largest investor into Sri Lanka, with the value of total investment in the region of approximately US $ 1.4 billion.
He discussed with the minister avenues for increased investment on the part of Malaysian companies in areas such as infrastructure, tourism and agriculture, in addition to the telecommunication sector where Malaysian investment is already exceptionally strong. They also discussed strategies for increasing volumes of bilateral trade beyond the present threshold of US$ 850 million. Post-harvest technology in agriculture was identified as an especially suitable area for collaboration between the two countries. The discussion included co-operation in the field of defence and in multilateral fora as well as strengthened airline connectivity as an impetus to tourism and greater people to people contact in the form of cultural and social activity.
Prof. Peiris, during his two-day visit to Malaysia also had discussions with Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed and Minister in the Prime Ministerís Office and Chief Executive Officer of the Performance Management and Delivery Unit Idiris Jala. The Second Joint Commission between Sri Lanka and Malaysia was held in Kuala Lumpur with Prof. Peiris and Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister Hamzah Zainudin leading their delegations. Practical strategies directed towards intensified co-operation were agreed upon at these discussions.
Minister Peiris also addressed the Malaysia-Sri Lanka Business Council.