ISLAMABAD: Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has arrived here for a three-day visit, during which he will speak at an international gathering relating to the Muslim world's economy and witness the signing of several joint venture agreements between Malaysian and Pakistani companies.
The Prime Minister touched down at the Chaklala Air Force base at 5pm yesterday, where he was received by Pakistani Minister for Communication Muhammad Shamim Siddiqui and acting Malaysian High Commissioner to Pakistan Roseli Abdul.
Later, he attended a dinner hosted by President Pervez Musharraf at the Aiwan-e-Sadr presidential palace.
Abdullah is scheduled to give his views on improving the economic capabilities of Muslim countries before about 600 delegates and business leaders from 40 countries at the two-day Second World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) here tomorrow.
A press statement from the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (Asli), which set up the WIEF during the 10th Organisation of the Islamic Conference meeting in 2003, said the economic conference aims to strengthen business partnerships and trade opportunities among Muslim entrepreneurs and businessmen.
Other Malaysian participants expected to attend and speak at the forum are CIMB Bhd CEO Datuk Nazir Razak, TM International Sdn Bhd vice-president Yusof Annuar Yaacob, Malaysia Airlines chairman Datuk Dr Munir Majid, Konsortium Logistik Bhd chairman Mirzan Mahathir and UEM Group CEO Datuk Ahmad Pardas Senin.
Among the foreign speakers are former Australian prime minister Bob Hawke and former Sri Lankan president Chandrika Kumaratunga.
The Prime Minister is also scheduled to participate in a leadership panel talk on Challenges for Muslim Leadership in a Globalised World at the forum today.
Malaysia has a 70-strong delegation at the forum, comprising businessmen and government officials.Among the signings that the Prime Minister will witness is a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Islamic banking between Bank Negara Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz, on behalf of the International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance, and Dr Shamshad Akhtar of the National Institute of Banking and Finance (Guarantee) Ltd of Pakistan.
Another MoU would be forged between the Pakistan National Highway Authority and Malaysian company Minconsult Sdn Bhd.
Abdullah is also expected to witness an agreement to make Malaysia a nursing training centre, with cooperation from Pakistani and Bangladeshi companies.