KUALA LUMPUR, April 10 — Pakistan is now focusing on its good relations with Malaysia to establish more cooperation to elevate bilateral economic ties between the two nations, said its Chargé d’Affaires to Malaysia, Atif Sharif Mian.
Citing the recent three-day official visit by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to Pakistan in March, he said it is imperative for both states to expand trade and investment, and create favourable conditions for the two countries’ commerce and business sectors.
“The political relations have always been good, but what we are focusing now is on how to improve the cooperations. As I can recall what Dr Mahathir said during the visit, it is the time for us to ‘translate’ good relations into cooperation.
“Thus, both governments are looking to create more joint investments, business opportunities, collaborations in education, and information technology as well as in the defence sector. We will look into all areas and possibilities,” he said to Bernama on the sidelines of Pakistan’s 80th Independence Day reception, hosted by the Pakistan High Commission, here, recently.
Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad was also present at the reception as the guest of honour.
Citing the groundbreaking ceremony for Proton’s manufacturing assembly plant in Pakistan as one of the achievements of Dr Mahathir’s visit, Atif highlighted that Pakistan is pleased with the newly-established joint investments.
“I think big companies (like Proton) will always keep looking for opportunities abroad. Our Pakistan automobile industry has quite expanded in recent years. I think that’s the reason why they (Proton) chose Pakistan to expand its business for regional exports in central Asia.
“Malaysia has the technology and capital and this is where both countries have good opportunities for cooperation,” said Atif.
Dubbed as Proton’s first venture in the South Asian region, the automobile manufacturing assembly plant will be built near Karachi in Sindh province.
The plant will have a production capacity of 25,000 units a year starting June 2020, with the Saga as the first model.
Dr Mahathir’s visit in March this year was at the invitation of his counterpart Imran Khan to attend the Pakistan Day celebration, observed on March 23 every year.
During the visit, Dr Mahathir was also conferred the Nishan-e-Pakistan or Order of Pakistan, the country’s highest civilian award, by Pakistan President Dr Arif Alivi at the Aiwan-e-Sadr Presidential Palace.
Atif also noted that Pakistan is also keen on learning from Malaysia in developing Pakistan’s tourism industry.
“I think Pakistan has a lot of potentials in tourism, as well. We have diverse geography, mountains covered with snow, deserts, religious tourism and beaches.
“This particular area is yet to be unleashed but this is among the topics discussed on how we can seek help from Malaysia,” he said. — Bernama