One EU-Malaysia Chamber considered

Mr. Lasse Reimann, Denmark’s ambassador to Malaysia, made headlines when he shortly after the Danish take-over of the EU presidency told the press that a proposal to form a Joint EU Chamber of Commerce and Industry was being considered.
Mr. Reiman spoke as head of the European Union Group of Ambassadors’ which he headed during Denmark’s presidency of the EU during the second half of 2002.
The purpose of a joint chamber should be to network more effectively with the Government as part of an over all effort to find ways to strengthen the EU-Malaysia co-operation. Reimann said the European business community was examining the idea.
“We’re turning it over to the (EU) business councils to decide, and I believe that this is the right approach,” he added in an interview with The Star at his Wisma Denmark embassy office.
“It is for them to study it and give their views. They will have to distil the level of business support for the proposal. 
Most of the 15 EU member nations have business councils in Malaysia to protect their respective interests. The Malaysia-Denmark Business Council, which has about 85 members, is among the active ones. 
Reimann said the European business community would decide on the role of the proposed joint chamber, and how the individual business councils would function later on. 
On a broader front, he said the EU aspired for close dialogue with the Government on matters of mutual interest. 
He said the 4th Asia-Europe Meeting scheduled in Copenhagen for September, where Asian leaders including Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad and EU heads of government will gather, would be the highlight of Denmark’s EU presidency. 
“The meeting will discuss issues such as terrorism, human trafficking and poverty. Malaysia has responded positively for a discussion on the diverse cultures and civilisations, to enhance understanding and overcome misconceptions,” the ambassador noted. 
Reimann said a report on a lifelong learning project undertaken by Malaysia, Denmark, Singapore and Ireland would be tabled at the meeting. 
The project, he added, was aimed at reducing poverty and enhancing a person’s capability and ability to survive in the competitive world. 
“Again, Malaysian officials involved have been very responsive,” he said, citing the Education, Human Resources and Rural Development ministries for commend.

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