Malaysian PM Visits Astana, Advances Economic Ties

PM of MalaysiaASTANA – Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak paid an official visit to Astana on May 22-24 to enhance bilateral ties in various fields. Although diplomatic relations were established in 1992 and Razak and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev met twice before, there was still much to discuss.

“In the past three years, we have met three times and it just gives an impetus to strengthening our relationship. $130 million is a very low trade turnover, although last year it grew by 14 percent. In this direction, we have great prospects. Current relations and mutual understanding between our countries and us individually mean that this visit will be very fruitful for our bilateral relations,” the President said, welcoming his Malaysian guest in the Akorda on May 23.

In his turn, the Malaysian Prime Minister expressed gratitude to President Nazarbayev for the invitation not only to take part in the seventh Astana Economic Forum but also to pay an official visit.

Najib delivered a keynote address on May 23 at the Astana Economic Forum as a special guest of President Nazarbayev.

“The opening ceremony of the seventh Astana Economic Forum made a great impression on me. The number of forum participants is impressive, and it also proves the growing authority of the event. I would like to note your contribution to discussions focused on urgent international issues by holding such a forum,” he said.

At the bilateral meeting, the two leaders also discussed the growing level of cooperation between the countries in various fields, which positively affects the implementation of the agreements outlined in the previous meetings. The Malaysian guest stressed the importance of expanding the existing capacity in the transport and logistics sector to enhance economic and trade cooperation.

In a joint statement after the meeting, the two leaders also agreed to review additional provisions proposed in the existing Air Services Agreement (ASA) to increase the frequency of flights between Almaty and Kuala Lumpur.

Razak said during a press conference that during the talks, the possibility of investment by Malaysian national oil company Petronas in Kazakhstan’s oil and gas sector was also discussed.

Razak and Nazarbayev expressed their intent to promote education and research opportunities for Kazakh and Malaysian students, scholars and researchers, between and among the two countries’ educational institutions.

In addition, Razak expressed gratitude to Nazarbayev for the assistance and support rendered by the Kazakhstan Government in the initial search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 aircraft.

During his visit to Astana, the Malaysian Prime Minister was also received by Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Massimov. The two sides discussed issues of common interest and opportunities for additional bilateral cooperation. They also witnessed the signing of three memoranda of understanding (MoUs) between Kazakh and Malaysian companies for business projects totaling $1.1 billion.

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