TASHKENT: Malaysia is receptive to the proposed creation of a Malaysia-Uzbekistan trade and investment council, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
The matter was raised when he chaired the roundtable business meeting with captains of industry from Uzbekistan and Malaysia on Wednesday.
“I think it’s a move in the right direction.
“I support it,” he said after the roundtable session, shortly before leaving Tashkent at the conclusion of his four-day official visit to Uzbekistan.
He said the proposed body would allow businessmen from Malaysia and Uzbekistan to discuss matters and bring them up to the governments and relevant agencies for further action.
“This will facilitate matters that need to be implemented as both parties (businessmen and investors) will sit together in this council,” he added.
Describing the trip as a success, Muhyiddin said: “We had the opportunity to forge warm official and personal ties with the Uzbekistan leadership.
“A lot of progress and agreement was achieved in our discussions.”
He said that Uzbekistan was eager to enhance its cooperation with Malaysia.
“Malaysia sees Uzbekistan as a base from which to enhance its involvement and explore the regional market,” he added.
He said the roundtable, in which Uzbekistan’s Minister of Foreign Economic Relations, Investment and Trade Elyor Ganiev participated, agreed that joint committees on trade and education should meet as often as possible so that proposals could be implemented.
“During the discussions, the minister made a very encouraging statement that all agencies in Uzbekistan must cooperate in all fields.
“There is no limit for any field to collaborate with the Government in terms of trade and investment,” he said, referring to last year’s two-way trade of US$71mil (RM230mil) registered between Malaysia and Uzbekistan, which he described as minimal.
He said Uzbekistan was keen to attract Malaysian investments in the manufacture of electric and electronic products, oil and gas, services, utilities, infrastructure, tourism and education sectors.
“I view this as extraordinary during a visit like this for each field to be identified one by one.
“This shows that they are very keen. This is an encouraging development,” he added.
During the trip, Muhyiddin also held discussions with Uzbekistan Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoyev and paid a visit to the Uzbekistan State University of World Languages to promote the teaching and learning of the Malay language.
He also launched the Malaysian Education Fair and Art Exhibition 2014 and met with the Malaysian community here. — Bernama