Speech at The 32nd Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) International Achievement Awards

SPEECH BY THE HONOURABLE TUN DR. MAHATHIR BIN MOHAMAD
PRIME MINISTER OF MALAYSIA
32nd RAWALPINDI CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY (RCCI) INTERNATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS
ON 9 JULY 2019 (TUESDAY), AT 8.30PM AT THE SHANGRI-LA HOTEL, KUALA LUMPUR

1. Thank you for inviting me to the 32nd Rawalpindi Chamber Of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) International Achievement Awards.

2. It is indeed a pleasure to be here at this gathering organised by Mr Nadeem A Rauf.

3. I would also like to take this opportunity to extend my thanks to Mr. Malik Shahid Saleem, President of Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce & Industry for having this event in Malaysia and to Mr. Sohail Altaf for extending me an invitation during my visit to Pakistan.

4. Selamat datang and welcome to Malaysia.

5. Malaysia and Pakistan being friendly nations with a combined population of 224 million makes a very large consumer market. Our unique relationship and closeness should be tapped so that we can exploit this massive market to the advantage of both nations.

6. Since each have their own unique industries and economic activities, we have a lot of areas to venture without having to compete with each other. In fact, as Malaysia hopes for greater economic cooperation, mutual exchange of knowledge and expansion of trade with Pakistan, we look towards a collaboration of complementing each other.

7. We need to share our strengths and overcome each other’s weaknesses and together we can emerge as an economic force globally.

8. I am happy to note that the Right Honourable Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Imran Khan shares the same sentiments and is very keen to explore all available potential in our bilateral interests.

9. The business community is the back bone of our economy and we can all play significant roles in enhancing bilateral trade between our countries.

10. The bilateral relationship between Malaysia and Pakistan touched a new high after the Malaysia-Pakistan Close Economic Partnership Agreement (MPCEPA) was signed in November 2007 and coming into effect in January 2008.

11. This Free Trade Agreement (FTA) encompasses liberalisation in trade in goods and services, investments, bilateral technical cooperation and capacity building in areas such as sanitary and phytosanitary measures, intellectual property protection, construction, tourism, healthcare and telecommunications.

12. When Malaysia-Pakistan Close Economic Partnership Agreement (MPCEPA) was first implemented, the trade balance between two countries leaned heavily towards Malaysia to which it is argued that Pakistan had underutilised the FTA.

13. The recent trend, however, reflects that the Pakistan exports to Malaysia have increased and the figures are definitely very encouraging for both nations.

14. Amid the increase of trade between both countries, I am happy to note that we are looking forward to the establishment of PROTON HOLDINGS BERHAD’s automotive assembly plant in Pakistan.

15. Malaysia is committed to provide business-friendly environment and cooperation for anyone who desires to invest here.

16. I would also like to suggest to Malaysian businessmen to look into the various available trade opportunities in Pakistan.

17. There is immensely huge untapped potential to enhance bilateral trade between Malaysia and Pakistan.

18. On that note, I wish to again thank the organisers for inviting me to the 32nd Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) International achievement Awards.

19. I hope your stay here will be meaningful and please take the opportunity to enjoy our hospitality.

Thank you.

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