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British PM calls for boom in economic ties with M'sia
Publication Date : 14-04-2012
British Prime Minister David Cameron ended his whirlwind visit to Malaysia by brainstorming with key corporate leaders on the way forward for both countries.
Attended by a who's who in business, the Asean Business Club's event on Thursday was the perfect stage for Cameron to drive home the message he had brought from London.
"I want much business done with Malaysia and that is why I brought along the strongest business delegation that has ever visited this region.
"I am determined to see partnerships and investments flourish between us,'' he said in his address at the dinner organised by the CIMB Asean Research Institute (Cari) at a hotel here.
Among those present were International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz, CIMB group chief executive Datuk Seri Nazir Razak and AirAsia Group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes.
Sixty-two companies from the Asean region and Britain attended the event, where corporate leaders from both sides held discussions on possible partnerships.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who was at a prayer session held in conjunction with the installation of the 14th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, dropped by later to give his input.
Cameron, who left for Myanmar yesterday morning, cited developments in the education sector as impressive with British universities setting up campuses here and a vast number of Malaysians studying for British degrees.
"The era of neglecting Malaysia is over. It is simply not right that no British Prime Minister has come to Malaysia in almost 20 years. Britain is back!'' he said, drawing loud applause for his use of the Malay idiom “bagai aur dan tebing (like the bamboo and riverbank)” to emphasise the close ties between both the nations.
Cameron also urged Malaysian tourists to make use of the visa-free privilege they enjoyed to visit Britain, and drew further applause when he wished the Malaysian badminton squad the country's first-ever Olympic gold in the coming London Games.