ISLAMABAD, March 22: Prime Minister Imran Khan and his Malaysian counterpart Dr Mahathir Mohammad Friday called for enhancing trade and investment ties between the two brotherly countries through private sector participation, partnerships and joint ventures for the mutual benefit.
They were speaking at Pakistan-Malaysia Business and Investment Roundtable, organized by the Board of Investment (BoI) here and was attended by a large number of businessmen and entrepreneurs from Pakistan and Malaysia.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said the holding of business and investment roundtable was very important as it provided opportunity to entrepreneurs from the two countries to interact and explore the investment opportunities.
He said both the countries had decided to formulate a strong Pak-Malaysia Ministerial Level Committee, which would meet regularly to interact and explore trade and investment opportunities.
The prime minister appreciating the vision of Dr Mahathir Mohammad said the way Malaysia developed under his leadership was a model for others, specially the Muslims countries, to follow.
He said Dr Mahathir Mohammad had a clear vision and stance, which non-leaders often did not have and were used to trying to please everyone.
The prime minister said the presence of a leader like Dr Mahathir Mohammad in Pakistan was an honor especially on the historic occasion of March 23, a day when the resolution of Pakistan was presented in 1940 under the great leadership of Quaid-e-Azam Muhamamd Ali Jinnah.
“We will be sad as you will be leaving tomorrow. We wish you to have stayed more in Pakistan”, he remarked.
Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohammad while addressing the business and investment roundtable said the event provided opportunity to the businessmen from two countries to interact and explore the opportunities of trade, investment and joint ventures.
He gave an overview and shared with the participants how Malaysia, which was a poor country at the time of its independence, achieved economic progress and development through industrialization.
Dr Mahathir Mohammad said his country preferred industrial development over the agricultural development to cope with the challenge of unemployment, and for this purpose they attracted and encouraged the foreign investors through various wealth creating incentives including the tax holiday for 10 years.
He said after the Malaysian people acquired skills from the technology and knowledge brought by the investors, they themselves developed their industries and achieved economic progress and growth.
Prime Minister Mahathir also mentioned some of the steps taken by his country to ensure peace and stability in Malaysia, which was essential for progress and development.
He said wealth creation was not the job of governments but of businessmen, adding, the government’s business was to facilitate the business and industry by providing them opportunities and necessary infrastructure.
Dr Mahathir Mohammad said Malaysia, which was a multi-racial, religion and lingual country and officially did not have any enemy, was a friendly country and did not interfere in others’ internal affairs.
He assured that besides exporting goods to Pakistan, his government would also encourage enhanced imports from the brotherly nation.
Referring to the cooperation between Malaysia’s Proton and Pakistan’s Al-Haj Automobile, the Malaysian prime minister presented the key a Proton Car to Prime Minister Imran Khan as a gift and remarked, “It is not a bribe”.
Later, the two prime minister also performed symbolic ground-breaking for the establishment of a Proton Automotive Assembly Plant in Karachi in cooperation with Pakistan’s Al-Haj Group, under which Proton Cars and Sport Utility Vehicles would be manufactured and its first car would come on roads by June 2020.
Five memorandums of understanding (MoUs) for cooperation between the two countries private sector companies were also signed on the occasion. Three MoUs signed between Malysia’s Edotco Towers and Pakistan’s Mobile Companies Jazz, Telenor and Zhong.
Besides a US$20 million joint venture in venture capital companies of the two countries, another MoU between Pakistan’s Faudi Meat and Malaysia’s Indahariya Enterprize was also signed for coorperation Halal meat industry.