KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the new Pakatan Harapan (PH) government wants to move forward and further strengthen relations with Australia.
Following talks with Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop here today, Dr Wan Azizah said she noted Australia’s readiness to support Malaysia following the recent PH election victory which saw a change of government in Malaysia.
That transition was the first thing that was discussed, she said, pointing out that Malaysia had not experienced that kind of transition in 61 years as opposed to Australia.
” we discussed how to move forward,” Dr Wan Azizah told a press conference after receiving Bishop, who is on a three-day working visit to Malaysia, at her office at the Parliament building.
According to the Foreign Ministry, the purpose of Bishop’s July 31-Aug 2 visit was to build rapport with the new government as well as to take stock of the existing bilateral relations.
Commenting on Canberra-Kuala Lumpur bilateral ties, Bishop said the Australian government would work with the government of the day in Malaysia, as was seen with the previous administration.
“Malaysia and Australia are natural partners, we have common interests and many areas of existing cooperation. We discussed other areas of cooperation to further strengthen our close friendship and partnership,” she said.
Earlier on, at the session with the press, Dr Wan Azizah said Malaysia and Australia had agreed to hold a bilateral Gender Policy Dialogue in November that would be a platform to exchange perspectives and experiences over gender policies and efforts to promote women empowerment.
The two countries were also keen to explore other spheres of cooperation such as institutional reform opportunities, disaster management, provision of the aged pension and superannuation, child protection and well-being approaches.
“Noting our long history of business cooperation, we also discussed how to encourage more trade and investment between Malaysia and Australia,” Dr Wan Azizah said.
“We also agreed that we would continue to encourage more companies to explore business opportunities in each other’s country, in both trade and investment,” she added.
Source: NAM News Network