PUTRAJAYA, June 28 — Malaysia and Australia reaffirmed their commitment to enhance cooperation in multifaceted areas of mutual interest, driven by Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) that both countries will build on.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah said he and his Australian counterpart Penny Wong had discussed in depth the various positive growth areas under the CSP.

The areas of growth include economy, people-to-people relations, technology as well on stability and security in the region, especially in the post Covid-19 pandemic period and beyond.

“We expressed our delight and satisfaction towards the positive growth of our multifaceted cooperation, especially in the post Covid-19 pandemic period.

“Malaysia is confident that all of the various collaborative efforts made under the partnership will contribute significantly towards supporting the region to rise from the challenges posed by the pandemic,” he told a joint news conference with Wong at his office here, today.

Earlier, Saifuddin and Wong had a bilateral meeting that covered a wide range of topics concerning both countries as well as current regional and global issues.

Malaysia and Australia elevated their bilateral ties to CSP in January 2021. Australia also established a Comprehensive Partnership with Asean last year.

Saifuddin said the digital economy and cybersecurity were among the key areas that both countries should strengthen cooperation. Malaysia-Australia bilateral trade in 2021 amounted to US$14 billion (RM62 billion), an increase of 30 per cent from 2020, he said adding that there were “ways and means to add to that number”.

People-to-people relation is one of the areas that can be further developed considering the fact Malaysian students studying in Australia represent a significant number, amounting to about 12,000 currently.

Saifuddin said he had taken note on Australia’s position for the humanitarian assistance it provided to Myanmar.

Meanwhile, Wong in echoing Saifuddin said in moving forward, Malaysia and Australia would work to give greater momentum to the partnership.

She said Australia is ready to continue to be a wheat and meat supplier to Malaysia, especially at a time when global supply chains have been constrained.

“As comprehensive strategic partners, we will work with Malaysia on any required issue in term of supply constraint arising from the (Ukraine-Russia) conflict,” she said.

As part of her three-day working visit to Malaysia, Sabah-born Wong would also be meeting with Senior Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali and Senior Minister of Defence Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein before going to Kota Kinabalu tomorrow.

Before arriving in Malaysia, Wong was in Vietnam. After her appointment as the foreign minister early this month she was in Indonesia with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. — Bernama