Saturday September 8, 2012
Oct 10 seminar to determine the future of Look East Policy
By WONG SAI WAN
VLADIVOSTOK (Eastern Russia): Malaysia will hold a seminar to commemorate the 30th anniversary of its Look East Policy and to determine its future, said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamad.
Many major personalities will be invited to the Oct 10 seminar in Kuala Lumpur.
“It has been three decades since the policy was drawn up and implemented by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. The seminar will not only look at the past achievements of the policy but also what we do with it next,” said Mustapa to Malaysian journalists after five bilateral meetings with his counterparts.
The Japanese-Malaysian Chamber of Commerce and the Malaysian-Japanese Chamber of Commerce will be participating in the seminar. Mustapa had informed Yukio Edano, who is the Economy, Trade and Industry Minister, of this seminar.
Besides trade liberalisation, the two ministers also discussed investments in Malaysia which Edano said was still a priority for Japanese firms.
Mustapa also said Malaysia wanted higher quality of investments from Japan especially on services, research and development as well as green technology. He also told Edano that Malaysia would support Japan if they wanted to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as it was a major trading nation in the Pacific Rim.
Japan had wanted to be part of the TPP but had not made a firm decision on the matter.
On his discussion with Hong Kong's commerce and economic development secretary Gregory So Kam-Leung, Mustapa said they talked about the service industry and how Malaysia could learn from Hong Kong whose economy is 95% based on services compared to Malaysia's 55%.
The Hong Kong Cabinet member asked for Malaysia's support for the Special Administrative Region to be allowed to take part in the China-Asean Free Trade Agreement. “In principle, Malaysia is agreeable to this but ... we needed to study this in depth.”
Later, Mustapa also witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Malaysia SME Bank and the SME bank of Russia. Datuk Mohd Radzif Mohd Yunus signed for the Malaysian bank while the other was represented by Sergey Pavlovich Krjukov.
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