Malaysia and Cambodia to accelerate cooperation in several crucial areas, says PM

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia and Cambodia have agreed to accelerate the progress of bilateral cooperation in several crucial sectors through its Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC), says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

The Prime Minister said there was still much potential in terms of boosting trades and investments between countries.

"We have also agreed to accelerate the process of JCBC between both countries earlier than expected.

"Both Foreign Ministers have been entrusted to fix a date (on this)," said Anwar during a joint press conference with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet at Perdana Putra, on Tuesday (Feb 27).

Following the meeting, several issues including food security, collaboration research, investments, halal industry, renewable energy, high-tech industries, including Electric Vehicle (EV) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), would be discussed and explored, added Anwar.

"We have huge potential in terms of boosting trade volume including palm oil and white rice.

"The Trade ministries of both countries will use the joint technical committee platform to address these challenges and find solutions," he said.

According to Anwar, the value of investment by Malaysian companies in Cambodia had exceeded US$3bil (about RM14.34bil).

ALSO READ: Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet meets Anwar in Putrajaya

"Of course, there are huge opportunities and the (Cambodian) prime minister has assured us that he will give all the attention and as much support as possible," noted Anwar.

Malaysia and Cambodia, said Anwar, had agreed to explore new flight routes to expand connectivity between the two nations.

"We also agreed to explore the issue of tourism and there are 47 flights from Cambodia to Kuala Lumpur and from Kuala Lumpur to Cambodia (per week).

"But then you (Cambodian Prime Minister) have suggested and I agreed, that we should explore new routes to expand this," explained Anwar.

Anwar also said Malaysia expressed gratitude to the Cambodian Government for assistance in job scam issues.

"We have expressed our gratitude to you, Mr Prime Minister (of Cambodia) and the Cambodian government for assisting us in resolving issues of Malaysian victims who had fallen victim to job scams and syndicates.

"You are very forthcoming and fast. I would like to thank both the police and immigration for their attention and support," added Anwar.

The Prime Minister also expressed Malaysia's interest to be a key player in the construction of over 1,000km of seabed energy pipelines, facilitating the transmission of renewable energy from Cambodia and Laos, to Singapore.

Earlier, the two prime ministers held a bilateral meeting and then witnessed the exchange of a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Financial Innovation and Payment Systems between Bank Negara and the National Bank of Cambodia, before proceeding to attend a luncheon hosted by Anwar.

Hun Manet was also scheduled to pay a courtesy call on Dewan Negara President Senator Datuk Mutang Tagal and Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Dr Johari Abdul.

This official visit would further add value to closer relations between Malaysia and Cambodia, bilaterally and within the framework of Asean, said Wisma Putra in a statement earlier.

Cambodia is one of the earliest nations to establish diplomatic relations with Malaysia in 1957. In 2023, Cambodia became Malaysia's 9th largest trading partner in the Asean region.

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