KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 9 — Joseph Yun, the United States Ambassador-designate to Malaysia, is optimistic of seeing stronger Malaysia-US ties, including in new areas of cooperation.
In his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington recently, he had expressed his commitment to take the bilateral ties to greater heights.
In June, Obama nominated the South Korean-born Yun, also affectionately known as Joe Yun, as the next US envoy to Malaysia, succeeding Datuk Paul W. Jones who ended his three-year tenure last month.
Yun believed that both countries had much to gain through expanded trade and investment, people-to-people exchanges and deeper cooperation in issues such
as climatic change, energy security, counter-terrorism and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.
He regards his nomination as the ambassador to Malaysia as a very meaningful undertaking, having devoted 27 years of his foreign service in promoting American interests, mostly in Asia.
“Malaysia is an important partner for the United States. We are also thrilled with Malaysia’s hosting of the fourth Global Entrepreneurship Summit in October. This important presidential initiative will energise, empower and connect entrepreneurs from around the region and around the world,” he said in his testimony which was posted on the US Embassy’s website.
The annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit, started by Obama in 2010, will be hosted by Malaysia for two days, beginning Oct 11, and the summit will mark the first visit of a US president to Malaysia in 45 years.
Yun, in his testimony, further said the growing people-to-people ties between Malaysia and the US was reflected by the upswing of travel to the country by Malaysians.
“Since fiscal year 2010, there has been a 23 per cent increase in the number of Malaysians applying for visas (tourist, student and work) to the United States, and this increase cuts across all major ethnic groups in the country,” he added.
He also said he looked forward to conclude the US’ first free trade agreement with Malaysia, through the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
“We are engaging all TPP partners, including Malaysia, to secure commitments to achieve a high standard agreement that expands market access and establishes common rules for a level playing field.” – Bernama