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Malaysian Envoy Hosts Reception to Fete National Day and 50th Anniversary in Bilateral Ties with Seoul Print E-mail
Sunday, 21 November 2010 01:35

Korea and Malaysia have promoted their friendship, cooperating in various areas suchas the economic, social, cultural and human exchange fields.

A reception to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Korea and Malaysia as well as the national day of Malaysia was held at the residence of Malaysian Ambassador Dato' Ramlan Ibrahim on September 17.

Among 200 plus dignitaries and well-wishers who joined the event were members of foreign diplomatic corps, government officials of Korea and other leaders from all segments of Korean socioeconomic sectors.

In his address, Malaysian Ambassador Dato' Ramlan Ibrahim said: "We have come a long way today. In those early formative years of our nation building, we had the foresight of looking at each other, exploring the emerging opportunities as we consolidate our newly acquired status as independent and sovereign states. 50 years ago, it was a different Malaysia and a different Republic of Korea."

Pointing out that the Republic of Korea like Malaysia is a young nation and as such the countries will rely on foreign assistance in certain fields of their respective national endeavours, Malaysian envoy expressed hope that with experience and greater determination and effort the time will not be long before the two achieve their national objectives and aspirations.

Earlier this year, for instance, Korea Post and its Malaysian counterpart, Pos Malaysia Bhd had issued through joint works undertaken over one year, a joint stamp featuring tigers of the two countries in celebration and commemoration of this 50th anniversary.

It will be a busy year for Malaysia and South Korea with a host of events planned to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties.

More recently, a high-powered Malaysian Trade and Investment Mission led by The Honorable Minister of International Trade & Industry, Dato' Sri Mustapa Mohamed joined the Seminar on Business Opportunities in Malaysia 2010 which was held at Hotel Lotte in downtown Seoul on July 21.

In his keynote speech delivered at the seminar attended by more than 300 plus local businessmen as well as media representatives, Dato' Sri Mustapa Mohamed said that the event will certainly further enhance the bilateral relations between Malaysia and Korea reiterating Malaysia's commitment to maintain a stable and business friendly government.

"In this regard, I look forward to seeing more Korean companies, both large and small, do business in Malaysia," he said. The seminar was organized by ASEAN-Korea Centre in coordination with the Malaysian Investment Development Authorities (MIDA), a Malaysian government's principal agency for the promotion of the manufacturing and services sectors in Malaysia. MIDA assists companies which intend to invest in the manufacturing and services sectors, as well as facilitates the implementation of their projects.

The Seoul seminar, which will be followed by another scheduled for July 23 in southern port city of Busan, was aimed at providing members of Korean business community here with the latest updates on government policies, incentives, facilities and support services available to foreign investors.

Among other members of the Malaysian delegation include Datuk Jalilah Baba, director general and Phang Ah Tong, senior director investment of MIDA.

The first day of the seminar held at Lotte Hotel attracted more than 300 participants, not to mention three dozens of local media representatives reflecting a growing popularity of Malaysia as offshore investment destinations for Korean businesses in recent years.

Korean participants had an excellent opportunity to network with Malaysian businesses as well as government agencies both on the federal and state levels on exchanging ideas and investment opportunities in Malaysia.

Potential Korean investors from such areas as electronics, biotechnology, machinery, and engineering supporting industries, automotive parts, food & beverages, green technology and ICT had face to face business talks with visiting members of Malaysian trade and investment mission after the morning session during which investment climate and various incentive measures including one stop service for foreign investors and tax holidays were introduced by Dato' Sri Mustapa Mohamed. In the case of Busan city on July 23, representatives from precision machinery, advance electronics, metal & steel , ICT, biotechnology, marine related activities and business services sectors will be invited to face to face business consultations.

In the view of Mr. Mohd Zukepli Embong, director of MIDA Korea office and concurrently Counsellor (lnvestment) at Embassy of Malaysia in Seoul said that foreign investors continue to show strong interest in investing in Malaysia and Korean companies in Malaysia have contributed significantly in the growth and development of the Malaysia's manufacturing sector.

Investments from Korea were mainly in electronics and electrical products, chemical and chemical products, non-metallic mineral products and basic metal products but more large Korean companies are turning their attention to a wide variety of service sectors nowadays, thus making investment outlets diversified and sophisticated, he explained.

According to MIDA statistics related with foreign investment in implemented manufacturing projects by major countries at the end of 2009, Korea ranked seventh with number of projects totaling 287 with US$2.6billion.

Malaysia already has strong credentials as an authority for the certification of halal food and non-food products. Malaysia's certification for halal food products complies with both the requirements of the Muslim community as well as international health and safety standards. The Korean business community can look at sourcing halal products from Malaysia for third markets in Europe and other regions.

Malaysia and Korean can leverage on each other's strengths by working together particularly in the Middle East and African continent, in areas such as trading, manufacturing and services. Malaysia's business community is versatile in doing business in various parts of the world as the country has trading links with more than 100 other countries.

Korean businessmen should also consider Malaysia as a strategic business partner within the larger ASEAN market of half a billion consumers as well as location to other high growth countries in Asia. Malaysia is also strategically well-positioned to serve as a gateway to the other countries in the region. Within the ASEAN region.

As a measure to further diversify the economy, the Malaysian Government has identified the services sector as a new source of growth. This is in line with the Government's objective of developing Malaysia into the preferred service hub in the region.

In line with its effort to become a knowledge-based economy, the Malaysian Government has given priority to the ICT industry. The Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) is a key component of the strategy to develop this sector.

The MSC offers a conducive environment for ICT companies to expand their businesses, undertake research, develop new products and technologies, and export their products. As a regional technological hub, the MSC also serves as a springboard to markets in ASEAN and the Middle East.

Korean companies are encouraged to take advantage of the MSC as a regional location for centralized ICT operations, including R&D, contact centres, technical support centres and data centres.

Malaysia offers good value for money and is among one of the most affordable places in Asia for tourism, meetings, incentives, conventions, exhibitions (MICE) and shopping. It is also well known for sports events such as Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix Formula One and eco-tourism with its jungle trekking, diving sites and bird sanctuaries. The weather is sunny throughout the year.

The Malaysian Government has initiated the "Malaysia My Second Home" programme that welcomes foreigners to stay in Malaysia. The programme is open to all foreign nationals who can stay in Malaysia on a social visit pass with multiple entries visa. The social visit pass is given initially for a period of 5 years and is renewable. Malaysia welcomes the French people to holiday or stay under Malaysia My Second Home' programme. As of now, more than 500 Koreans have applied for MM2H program.

Malaysia is also emerging as one of the popular destination for medical tourism. More recently, Malaysia woos foreign investors to make inroad to Malaysian healthcare industries with huge market potentials.

Amb. Cho Young-jai, the secretary general of the ASEAN-Korea Center in Seoul said that Malaysia is one of the most important partners for Korea from the countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), with a total population of 580 million and abundant natural resources.

ASEAN is a huge market for Korean products and a supplier of natural gas and timber. And the Korean economy is already benefiting from it - ASEAN is Korea's third-largest trading partner and foreign investment destination. ASEAN is comprised of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Amb. Cho explained that the establishment of the center was a result of Korea's efforts to raise its level of cultural and human exchanges with ASEAN members to that of its trade and investment with them.

According to Cho, the center's top priority is reaching out to the general public, especially students and the young. It recently went on a presentation tour to introduce ASEA to school children.

"We visited I0 elementary schools, and made a presentation on what ASEAN is, and we introduced each ASEAN member country one by one," Cho said. Ambassador Dato’ Ramlan Bin Ibrahim of Malaysia, which held the presidency of ASEAN (from June 2009) until the end of December (2009) said: "All these activities have contributed to the further enhancement of our relations."

"The outbound flow of tourists to ASEAN countries is increasing in number. So we find it necessary to explore new tour ideas, such as cultural, eco tourism, and adventure or volunteer tourism programs," the secretary general said. Having been to all 10 ASEAN countries himself, Cho is convinced that "mutual and deeper understanding will provide a strong foundation for a lasting and genuine partnership between Korea and ASEAN."

Source: http://www.kln.gov.my/web/kor_seoul/home/-/asset_publisher/8pPT/blog/malaysian-envoy-hosts-reception-to-fete-national-day-and-50th-anniversary-in-bilateral-ties-with-seoul?redirect=%2Fweb%2Fkor_seoul%2Fhome%2F-%2Fblogs%2Fexclusive-interview-with-malaysian-ambassador-to-south-korea-by-arirang-tv



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