Friday, July 15, 2011

Look East, Malaysian Premier, Najib Razak tells Europe

Malaysian Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak is currently in United Kingdom for a 4 days official visit at the invitation of British Prime Minister, David Cameron.

EUROPEAN investors have been urged to go east as Malaysia is among the top 10 most competitive countries in the world.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak invited British companies to come and see for themselves how Government programmes and policies are transforming Malaysia day by day.

“Experience our fast-growing infrastructure, our vibrant economy and our progressive modern outlook,” he said when addressing a Global Investment Forum at the prestigious Claridges Hotel in London on Friday, 15th July 2011.

He said this growth was achieved by working with the private sector to find new niche areas, sources of growth and ways of gaining a competitive advantage.

“Open, transparent, and even-handed economic stewardship has always been our hallmark in Malaysia.

“We are moderate not just because it's right, but because it works and provides a clear path to economic growth,” said Najib who is on a four-day official visit to Britain.

He added that Malaysia's progress had been built on the bedrock of political, social and economic moderation.

“As income levels in Asia rise, people's demand for goods will stretch increasingly beyond their nation's borders.

“An increase in living standards in the East doesn't cause the West to fall or falter, but instead helps it rise even higher,” he said.

Najib said the New Economic Model would expand the role of the private sector and make Malaysia an even more attractive proposition for global investors.

“It will cut red tape and enhance investment incentives, increase competition and improve the business environment.

“It will also rebalance the roles of the public and private sectors because in the modern world it is no longer good to say the government knows best',” he said.

Najib said those investors who were truly global in their outlook would reap the biggest reward because “the sun may set in the west and rise in the east but it's always daylight somewhere in the world”.

“Today, a car assembled in Dagenham is designed in Denmark, powered by an engine from Tokyo and fitted with tyres from Kuala Lumpur.

“National economic interest is becoming more and more about collective interest and this is why Malaysia has rejected the outdated notion of “taking sides” in international trade and relations.

“We have opted instead for a new multilateralism that works both for Malaysia and for our partners overseas,” said Najib.

While in London, Najib and his British counterpart David Cameron held talks at No 10 Downing Street on Thursday 14 July 2011 as the two historically linked countries moved to bring bilateral relations a notch higher.

The two leaders held talks soon after Najib’s arrival at the famed address in central London on a rather chilly day despite summer being in full swing.

But Najib was greeted warmly by Cameron, both of whom shook hands and posed for photographers and videographers before moving inside for their tete-a-tete followed by a luncheon hosted by the British prime minister.

Earlier, Najib was met on arrival at the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Office by UK’s secretary of state for foreign and commonwealth affairs William Hague, before walking a short distance to 10 Downing Street.

Before that, Najib was joined by his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor during an audience with Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, the official London residence of the British monarch.

During the leaders' meeting, Malaysia and the UK also signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at curbing trans-border crimes.

Malaysia was represented Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and the UK by its Home Secretary Teresa May.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is to provide a framework and formal systematic mechanisms to deal with cross-border and transnational crimes.

“While this may not have been an issue in the past, the ever-changing criminal industry requires us to be more cautious and prompt in handling these crimes,” Hishamuddin said in a press release on Friday 15th July 2011.

The MoU would primarily focus on terrorism, organised crime, human trafficking, migrant smuggling, drug smuggling, forged documents, cyber crime, and the exchange of illegal currency.

Enforcement agencies under the Home Ministry that would be directly involved include the police, the Immigration Department and the International Anti-Drug Agency.

Hishammuddin said the agencies would share intelligence information, skills and research documents.

“We have also conducted research into trends and strategies to overcome cross-border crime and investigation techniques using the latest equipment and methodology.”

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