Tuesday October 16, 2012
Joint panel to promote economic growth in Mindanao
MANILA: Malaysia and the Philippines have agreed to reconvene a joint committee that will draw up socio-economic projects in Mindanao following the signing of the framework peace agreement for southern Philippines.
The Philippines-Malaysia Joint Committee on Assistance for the Socio-economic Advancement of Muslim Filipinos (JCASAMF) will focus on madrasah education, halal industry, Tabung Haji, Islamic banking, university twinning and student exchange programmes.
“The leaders called for the reconvening of the JCASAMF at the earliest opportunity in order for it to come up with cooperative projects and undertakings,” said a joint statement by the Governments of Malaysia and the Philippines.
The JCASAMF will be placed under the auspices of the Philippines-Malaysia Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) framework for bilateral cooperation.
The statement was issued after a meeting between the two countries led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Philippine President Benigno Aquino at Malacanang presidential palace yesterday before the signing of the framework peace agreement.
It said that Najib's official visit to the Philippines, his first as Prime Minister, was a milestone in bilateral relations, signalling a new phase of “deeper and more robust” ties between the two countries.
The Malaysian Government affirmed its support for Philippine efforts to create more jobs and other economic opportunities in Mindanao and urged Malaysian and foreign businessmen to consider investing in palm oil, natural rubber, the halal industry, infrastructure and other sectors in the region.
The two leaders said they looked forward to sustaining the current momentum in their partnership and looked forward to the 8th Philippines-Malaysia JCM meeting next year.
They also agreed to step up economic and tourism cooperation, with Najib inviting Aquino to visit Malaysia.
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