SAMARKAND, May 19 — Developing nations should strengthen their collaborations to provide mutual support for each other’s economic growth, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said.

Anwar, who is on a three-day official visit to Uzbekistan starting Friday, said that in the context of Malaysia-Uzbekistan relations, both countries should leverage their respective strengths to enhance trade and investment ties.

“Although countries such as Malaysia and Uzbekistan are highly dependent on investments from large nations, our future depends very much on the ability to develop our own strengths,” he said in a post on his Facebook page today.

He noted that on Saturday, the Malaysian delegation led by him participated in the Uzbekistan-Malaysia High Level Business Forum at the Samarkand Silk Road Complex here, along with the leadership from Uzbekistan helmed by Deputy Prime Minister Jamshid Khodjaev.

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Anwar said the forum was attended by more than 200 industry personalities and heads of companies from various sectors in Malaysia and Uzbekistan, and a dialogue session was held with him to learn the country’s policies and direction.

Among the participants were Uzbek companies with annual revenue exceeding RM1 billion such as Eriell Group, Korzinka, Orient Group, Murad Buildings and Asklepiy Group, as well as those from Malaysia such as Petronas, the Employees Provident Fund, Khazanah Nasional, Proton, Sunway Group and Sime Darby.

“In my speech (at the forum), I expressed my confidence in potential Malaysia-Uzbekistan collaborations in various sectors including oil and gas, engineering, electrical and electronics, halal and Islamic finance, in addition to new areas such as digital technology and artificial intelligence,” Anwar said.

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The Prime Minister said he is of the view that companies in Malaysia can learn from Uzbekistan’s ability to bring about changes, modernisation and economic progress within a short timeframe.

Anwar and Jamshid also witnessed six memoranda of understanding (MoUs) being exchanged among the two countries’ agencies and companies, and Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) also exchanged MoUs with local universities there.

“God willing, this Uzbekistan-Malaysia High Level Business Forum is expected to generate export revenue of at least RM710 million, hence contributing to the nation’s economic growth. Agencies should facilitate and expedite the transactions,” he added. — Bernama