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Malaysia eyes Central Asia for strategic economic partnerships, says PM Anwar

Publish date: Sun, 19 May 2024, 08:15 PM

SAMARKAND: Countries that are rapidly developing, such as those in Central Asia, have a strong potential to be Malaysia's strategic partners to increase mutual economic development through collaboration in various new areas.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, on an official visit to Central Asia to the Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan from May 14 to 19, said networking with these developing nations is vital in the current global environment.

"Countries such as China, Germany and the United States of America are big investors, and their investments will provide benefits such as job opportunities and training centres of excellence.

"But the strength of developing countries, especially Uzbekistan, is their network with mid-tier companies which will directly involve entrepreneurs and the middle-tier (in Malaysia)," he told the Malaysian media at the conclusion of his visit to Uzbekistan here today.

The prime minister said that apart from this, international relationships and cooperation with developing countries are vital as Malaysia needs staunch friends to avoid being pressured by any powers.

"Therefore, we have good relationships with all powers, but networks with developing countries such as Uzbekistan will greatly assist us as they understand that we have the same approach and strategy," he said.

Uzbekistan is Anwar's last stop in his official visit to the three Central Asian countries. The prime minister was in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan before this.

He arrived in Tashkent on Friday (May 17) for a three-day official visit to Uzbekistan.

He paid a courtesy visit to Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev on the first day of his visit to its capital.

The two leaders discussed the relationship between Malaysia and Uzbekistan and explored potential fields of cooperation in the meeting which lasted an hour.

On the second day, Anwar and Uzbekistan Deputy Prime Minister Jamshid Khodjaev attended the Uzbekistan-Malaysia High-Level Business Forum at the Samarkand Silk Road Complex, which saw the participation of over 200 companies from Malaysia and Uzbekistan.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hassan, Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing and Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Dr Mohd Na'im Mokhtar are part of the Malaysian delegation. - BERNAMA

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