King hopes recent visit to UAE will boost economic ties


PETALING JAYA: Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah is delighted with the outcome of his recent special visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and hopes it will boost economic ties with Malaysia.

"I am pleased that I was able to communicate with the Minister of Economic Affairs on my very productive visit to the UAE," said Sultan Abdullah in a statement which was issued by the Comptroller of the Royal Household Datuk Pengelola Bijaya Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsudin.

The King expressed the sentiment during a meeting with the Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali which was held on Monday (June 17) at Istana Negara.

Sultan Abdullah said the UAE is Malaysia's largest trading partner in the Middle East

"As such, I hope this special visit to the UAE will result in the exploration of potential economic opportunities between the two countries, paving way for the future collaboration and investment.

"The meeting with the Minister helps to ensure that these opportunities come to fruition as he and his colleagues will be able to take this to the next level in developing potential bilateral ventures.

"It is hoped that the special friendship between the two leaders will further strengthen cooperation and mutual interests between Malaysia and the UAE," said the King.

Sultan Abdullah embarked on a three-day special visit to the UAE beginning Wednesday (June 12) until Friday (June 14) which was His Majesty’s first visit to the Arab Gulf states after taking his oath as the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong on Jan 31.

The statement said His Majesty's visit manifested the excellent state of brotherly relations between Malaysia and the UAE.

Istana Negara said the King also shared with the Economic Affairs Minister the details of his discussion with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

"His Majesty and His Highness had discussed and exchanged views on a number of issues, including ways to further boost the bilateral relations between the two countries.

"The meeting with Azmin marked the first official engagement between the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Economic Affairs Minister to discuss matters pertaining to the country's economy.

"The audience with Azmin was originally scheduled to take place in May, but was postponed to June 17.

"The regular audience between His Majesty and Cabinet ministers is part of his Majesty's activities apart from the weekly pre-Cabinet meeting with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at the Istana Melawati, Putrajaya," it added.

It also noted that both the King and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan have a long historic friendship which began during their military training at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, United Kingdom, from 1978 to 1979.

"His Majesty, in the special visit, also had the opportunity of having separate meetings with His Highness's two younger brothers; His Highness Sheikh Seif Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, as well as His Highness Sheikh Mansour Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs," the statement said.