Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Prime Minister of Malaysia and I have just wrapped up bilateral discussion in a pleasant, close and fraternal atmosphere. First of all, let me express my sincerely profound thank for Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad for doing us the honor of conducting his official visit to the Kingdom of Cambodia today for the first time in his current term.
I am pleased to give a high evaluation to this historic visit. The visit serves as a strong friendship, solidarity, and bilateral relations between Cambodia and Malaysia. I extend my warm congratulation to great achievements scored under the energetic leadership of HE Prime Minister. I have a strong belief that together with striven development and modernization goals, as well as development policy in every fields, Malaysia will realize its objectives to become a developed country, an economic tiger in Asia, and to participate in contributing evermore active and important role in regional and world arenas.
Taking this opportune moment, I wish to express my sincere greeting to the 62nd National Independence Day of Malaysia, and the diplomatic relations establishment between Cambodia and Malaysia on 31 August 1957.
On bilateral relations between Cambodia and Malaysia, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and I have noted with satisfaction progresses achieved in the two countries’ relations of friendship and cooperation in every fields such as security, economy, trade, investment, tourism, education, labor, culture, etc. We are determined to strengthen and expand further close cooperation bilaterally and multilaterally for our two people’s interests and making contributions to regional and world peace, stability, and prosperity.
Presently, trade and investment relations between our two countries maintain good status, while there are numerous Malaysian businesses in Cambodia. In 2018, trade volume between the two countries was at roughly 500 million USD. In the first six month of 2019, the volume of trade has recorded some 400 million USD already. To further volume of trade and investment between Cambodia and Malaysia, Prime Minister Mahathir and I have agreed to instruct related institutions of the two countries to seek for means for more cooperation in this field.
We have admitted there is this need to strive for cooperation on information sharing and training in the field of national security and defense. We also are welcoming continued discussion between the Ministries of National Defense of the two countries leading to signing a memorandum of understanding on national defense cooperation.
We have encouraged relevant institutions of the two countries to expedite signing of a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in combating against human trafficking. Let me take this opportune moment to express my sincere thanks to Malaysia for its delivered assistance in human resource training through its technical cooperation and for positive cooperation in improving wellbeing of male/female workers currently working and residing in Malaysia. To further relation between people of Cambodia and Malaysia, we have agreed to encourage youth exchange through sports and youth’s leadership development programs, and cultural exchanges.
As far as international cooperation, regional and international mechanism are concerned, Prime Minister Mahathir and I have exchanged views on the two countries’ concerned regional and world situations. In this remark, let me inform you that we have exchanged opinions on a number of issues such as the South China Sea, the Rakhine State, and issues relating to the United Nations Security Council’s sanctions on North Korea, and those of powerful countries on other countries, which bear effects not only on those countries but also on partnering countries. Prime Minister Mahathir and I also discussed the candidacy of Timor-Leste to become the ASEAN 11th member country. We are of the view that the country should be welcome to be a member of ASEAN.
As you have witnessed, a while ago, we have offered our presences to witness the signing ceremony of (1) the agreement to avoid tax duplication and to prevent embezzlement of tax and income tax, and (2) the memorandum of misunderstanding of tourism, for which we are looking into visa facilitation that travelers with visas to Malaysia can also visit Cambodia. If they visit Cambodia, they also can visit Malaysia.
This is a brief aspect of what we have realized. May I invite HE Prime Minister to share his remarks./.