NZ and Malaysia to work together in many areas, says Kiwi minister


  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 16 Oct 2018

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): There are many areas where New Zealand and Malaysia can work together, especially in the field of public services delivery through the use of advanced information communication technology (ICT), says NZ Finance Minister Grant Robertson (pic).

With both new governments keen on good governance and transparency, it would be apt for Wellington and Putrajaya to work together towards improving the delivery of public services to the people, he said.

The minister, who had earlier visited Datacom, a New Zealand ICT company that has been in Malaysia for some 20 years, said his country was keen on ensuring that government services were working for their people and had been working on developing its ICT based citizen-centric services.

“As we move towards new technology and how it is being used by businesses, there are really a lot of areas (which NZ and Malaysia can work together on) as we are quite complementary with each other,” Robertson told Bernama after a briefing on New Zealand's economic outlook at the New Zealand Official Residence here Monday (Oct 15).

He said both countries could also cooperate in the areas of green technology and climate change, which are particularly important for a small country like New Zealand which has a population of only 4.8 million.

Robertson said that the New Zealand government also welcomes any foreign direct investments (FDIs) from Malaysia into its agriculture and services sector, with the view of increasing its productivity, which ranked low among Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.

On his meeting with his Malaysian counterpart, Lim Guan Eng, on Sunday (Oct 14), he said both of them discussed strengthening ties between the two countries.

New Zealand and Malaysia established diplomatic relations more than 60 years ago on Sept 25, 1957.

Robertson said both of them talked about improving bilateral trade that currently stands at NZ$3.5bil (about RM10bil).

New Zealand's major exports to Malaysia include milk powder, butter, malt and dairy products, while its imports are crude petroleum oil, oil cake, and electronics.

“We particularly agreed that once he (Lim) gets his Budget 2019 done, we can talk again about how we can develop those opportunities,” he said, adding that New Zealand was a huge producer of food products.

Robertson, who arrived here Saturday (Oct 13), left here later Monday to attend the Apec Finance Ministers' Meeting and Related Meetings with Abac Dialogue in Papua New Guinea.

During his visit here, Robertson also met Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, and Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman in his capacity as New Zealand's Sport and Recreation Minister. – Bernama
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