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M'sian PM stresses need to increase two-way trade with Philippines

Publication Date : 17-10-2012


Malaysia hopes to see better economic ties with the Philippines with the signing of the framework peace agreement between the country's government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak told members of the Malaysia-Philippines Business Council that they should take the lead in increasing two-way trade and investment.

“Economic ties between the two countries are somewhat under-achieved and their potential has not been fully realised.

“It is up to us to address this, especially since our two governments are now working closely together and I have quite a personal relationship with the Philippines president,” Najib said during a breakfast meeting with the Malaysia-Philippine Business Council here yesterday.

Also present were the Philippines secretary of the department of trade and industry Gregory Domingo, International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed and pro-tem chairman of the Malaysia-Philippines business Council Azmil Khalid.

Najib said the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) needed to be further developed with the signing of the peace agreement for the Bangsamoro.

He said Asean's aim to achieve regional economic integration in 2015 would provide more opportunities for businesses in Malaysia and the Philippines to increase bilateral trade, which dropped by about 22 per cent last year compared with 2010.

With Malaysia's investments in the Philippines three times greater than the country's investments in Malaysia, he hoped that more companies from the Philippines would invest in Malaysia.

“We want businesses to make their own decisions while the Government serves as the facilitator, just like for the Bangsamoro deal, that of an honest broker,” he said.

Najib said he was upbeat about the economic prospects for both countries as the Philippines economy had been projected to grow between 6 per cent and 6.5 per cent this year and Malaysia had become the third largest global centre for initial public offerings after the United States and China.


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