Zafrul: Malaysia sees Kazakhstan as strategic partner in bridging Central, SE Asia - MIDA | Malaysian Investment Development Authority
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Zafrul: Malaysia sees Kazakhstan as strategic partner in bridging Central, SE Asia

Zafrul: Malaysia sees Kazakhstan as strategic partner in bridging Central, SE Asia

17 May 2024

Malaysia views Kazakhstan as its strategic partner in building the interlinkages between Central Asia and Southeast Asia, said Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz.

At the same time, the minister extended a warm invitation to companies from Kazakhstan to use Malaysia as a base to expand globally, leveraging on the country’s strategic position as a gateway to Asean. 

Zafrul said Kazakhstan has not only been Malaysia’s top trading partner among Central Asian countries for many years, but both nations also share values and mutual dedication to institutional reforms to boost competitiveness and economic resiliency.

According to him, Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s new economic model, founded on principles of fairness, inclusiveness and pragmatism, stresses the pivotal role of the manufacturing sector in achieving economic self-sufficiency, reflecting the country’s commitment to deep and comprehensive socio-economic transformations. 

“Malaysia is keen to work with Kazakhstan in your endeavour to transform the economy through the sharing of our experiences, industrial cooperation, new investments by Malaysian companies in strategic areas in Kazakhstan as well as deepening trade linkages between our countries. 

“At the same time, I would encourage our business leaders to explore opportunities for collaboration either here in Kazakhstan or in Malaysia,” Zafrul said in his remarks during the Kazakhstan-Malaysia Investment Roundtable here on Friday.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his Kazakh counterpart Olzhas Bektenov were present at the session.

Zafrul added that Malaysia and Kazakhstan have established a Joint Trade Committee (JTC) and the last JTC, which was hosted by Malaysia in 2017, has agreed to facilitate greater cooperation in the areas of halal industry, Islamic finance, tourism, renewable energy, oil and gas, and investment cooperation.

“I look forward to the next JTC meeting to set the direction for our cooperation agenda,” he said.

Also accompanying the prime minister on his two-day official visit to Kazakhstan that ended Friday were Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan; Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing; and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Dr Mohd Na’im Mokhtar; as well as senior officials from various ministries and agencies.

Kazakhstan, the ninth largest country in the world, has a population of about 20 million people, with more than 70% being Muslim.

The country is bordered by Russia to the north, the Caspian Sea to the south-west, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and the Kyrgyz Republic to the south and China to the east.

Astana’s main export is oil, followed by natural gas and other commodities. It is also a major wheat producer.

Source: Bernama