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Second Malaysia-Australia Annual Leaders’ Meeting in Melbourne, first held face-to-face

Publish date: Mon, 04 Mar 2024, 07:27 PM

MELBOURNE, March 4 — Malaysian and Australian leaders and top officials convened in the Government House, Victoria in Melbourne on Monday for the second Malaysia-Australia Annual Leaders’ Meeting (ALM), the first face-to-face gathering since its inception in 2021.

The previous meeting in 2021 was overshadowed by the global Covid-19 pandemic and was held virtually.

The ALM serves as a cornerstone for the two countries to enhance their partnership under the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) framework, established in 2021.

As Malaysia and Australia have entered a new phase of the CSP framework, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said both nations agreed to the efforts of the respective government officials and ministries on the issues of trade and investment, education, sport, digital economy and cyber security.

“We also took the opportunity to again strengthen bilateral trade growth, because Australia remains our 10th largest trading partner and the interest by investors and companies, Australian companies into Malaysia, seems to be growing. This shows the sign of confidence they have in Malaysia,” he said.

Anwar, in a joint press conference with Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese here on Monday after concluding the ALM, said Malaysia and Australia reaffirmed the commitment to intensifying existing cooperation, including in some very specific areas like the vaccine ecosystem and clean energy transition.

Albanese said Malaysia is one of Australia’s oldest and most important friends in the region, and both nations bound together in so many ways, from family ties and close economic connections, to the tens of thousands of students and tourists each year, are drawn to Australian and Malaysian shores.

“Above all, we share the same aspirations for the region we call home. We believe in an Indo Pacific region that is open, stable and prosperous, and where sovereignty is respected and differences are settled through dialogue, and agreed rules and norms,” he said.

Albanese said his meeting with Anwar today emphasised the steadfast commitment to the vision and a shared desire to bring “our people and our economies closer still.”

“Australia stands ready to play a bigger role in Malaysia’s pursuit of economic opportunity, investment, development and growth. Our comprehensive strategic partnership gives us a framework to do just that, as does Australia’s South-east Asia Economic Strategy,” he said. — Bernama

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