SEPANG, Malaysia rolled out the red carpet today for South Korean President Moon Jae-in who arrived for a three-day state visit.
The special aircraft carrying Moon and his wife, Kim Jung-sook, landed at the KL International Airport (KLIA) at 12.40 pm.
Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah and International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Darell Leiking, who is the Minister-in-Attendance, welcomed President Moon and Kim.
A state welcome will be accorded to President Moon tomorrow at Parliament Square where he will be received by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah.
Sultan Abdullah is scheduled to host a state banquet in President’s Moon honour at Istana Negara.
President Moon is the first foreign head of state to be hosted by Sultan Abdullah since his ascension to the throne on Jan 31.
The South Korean president will have a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad tomorrow to discuss various bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest, Wisma Putra said in a statement.
President Moon and Dr Mahathir will also witness the signing of four memorandums of understanding (MoUs) involving industrial cooperation relating to the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0), cooperation in the field of transportation and the development of a Smart City in Malaysia, as well as cooperation in the halal industry.
In 2018, bilateral trade between Malaysia and South Korea recorded an upsurge of 7.2 per cent to reach US$17.98 billion (RM72.60 billion) compared to US$15.76 billion (RM67.71 billion) in 2017.
South Korea was Malaysia’s eighth largest trading partner globally and the 13th largest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) investor in 2018.
Malaysia, on the other hand, was South Korea’s 14th largest trading partner in the same year.
Wisma Putra said the President Moon’s visit is expected to further reinvigorate Kuala Lumpur-Seoul ties and lay new groundwork for the bilateral relations to flourish.
The last state visit by a president of South Korea to Malaysia was by President Lee Myung-bak, on Dec 9 and 10, 2010, for the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and South Korea, it said.
Wisma Putra also said that from January to September 2018, a total of 463,004 tourists from South Korea visited Malaysia, representing a 33.1 per cent increase as compared to the corresponding period in 2017.