VIENTIANE, June 27– Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today invited Laos to tap into Malaysia’s halal expertise if it wishes to enter a larger market of Muslim consumers.
Speaking in a joint press conference with his Laotian counterpart Dr Sonexay Siphandone at the Laos Prime Minister’s Office here today, Anwar said by venturing into the halal industries, especially halal food, Laos could be able to expand its export business.
“We have a small advantage in the halal food industries, which I think you (Laos) should utilise so that you will be able to expand the export to the Muslim countries and the Middle East,” he said.
Anwar arrived in Vientiane on Monday for a two-day official visit to Laos to further strengthen bilateral relations and economic cooperation with the ASEAN member state.
Anwar’s maiden visit to the ASEAN member state, after being sworn in as the Prime Minister on Nov 24 last year was at the invitation of Siphandone.
Anwar also hoped to expand the collaboration between Malaysia and Laos universities in terms of training and exchange of expertise.
During the press conference, Anwar also reaffirmed the need for ASEAN to reinforce the five points of its consensus, to deal with more precarious conditions and try to find amicable resolutions to the long-standing conflict in Myanmar, which is also affecting the security and economic welfare of both countries.
“I trust the wisdom of the (Laos) prime minister to ensure that we remain a very strong and united force of ASEAN,” he said, adding that Malaysia will give full support to Laos for their assumption of ASEAN Chairmanship next year.
Meanwhile, Siphandone said he was delighted with Anwar’s visit to Laos and the bilateral meeting between them which lasted about an hour was held in a brotherly spirit.
He said both countries have also agreed to work closely to enhance cooperation in various areas for the benefit of the people.
“This visit will further foster deeper understanding, and advancing longstanding and robust friendship between Laos and Malaysia.
“I remain committed to work with Anwar through bilateral and multilateral cooperation, as well as in ASEAN, with the aim to further advancing the robust for the tangible benefit of people,” he said through a translator.
Siphandone said his discussion with Anwar also touched on other issues in the region particularly its impact on socioeconomic development in ASEAN member states.