SAMARKAND, May 19 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said he sees huge potential in the cooperation between Malaysia and Uzbekistan, which can transform and modernise both countries’ economic development and attract investments.

He said that for the last one and a half years, Malaysia has been seen as a hub for microchip semiconductors in the region through many investments by major foreign companies.

“Our future capabilities, our ability to build on our own strength among emerging economies... that’s Uzbekistan and Malaysia,” he said in his remarks at the high-level Uzbekistan-Malaysia Business Forum at the Silk Road Samarkand Complex here on Saturday.

About 200 companies from both countries attended the business forum, and Uzbekistan Deputy Prime Minister Jamshid Khodjaev was also present.

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Anwar said both countries should focus on working together in areas such as digital transformation, energy transition and halal development.

He also noted that trade and investment between the two countries has increased yearly.

“We have to increase our collaboration (between the two countries). We can facilitate the process (the ease of doing business),” he said.

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In 2023, total trade between Malaysia and Uzbekistan was RM451.1 million (US$94.03 million), with exports to Uzbekistan amounting to RM449 million (US$93.6 million) and imports amounting to RM1.99 million (US$414,518).

Anwar is currently in Uzbekistan for a three-day official visit that began with his arrival in Tashkent on Friday.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hassan; Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz; Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Mohd Na’im Mokhtar are part of the Malaysian delegation accompanying the Prime Minister. — Bernama