Rafidah: Initiate a NAM economic forum

INTERNATIONAL Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz yesterday proposed that the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) initiate a dedicated NAM economic forum in the future. 

She said that the NAM should have a parallel economic forum where trade discussions and business meeting could be held. 

The setting up of an economic forum would attract businessmen from NAM countries to participate actively in trade and business developments within the movement, Rafidah said at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur to announce Showcase Malaysia 2003, which will be held in conjunction with the 13th NAM summit from Feb 20 to 25. 

She said that currently a dedicated economic component was not included in the NAM format. 

Rafidah said that with the economic forum, “we can invite businessmen from NAM countries to get together at business conference, not to discuss theoretical matters but to engage in business sessions, to allow them to do business networking.” 

Currently, the NAM summit was largely attended by national leaders, officials and the media fraternity while businessmen were mostly absent, she said. Showcase Malaysia 2003 will be held from Feb 18 to 26. 

Rafidah said that the proposed economic forum could be organised separately and not necessarily back-to-back with the NAM summit. 

Total bilateral trade between Malaysia and the NAM countries stood at RM123bil in 2001 and RM134.6bil last year. – Bernama 

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