The 11 ambassadors to Malaysia of the respective EU countries joined a European Union (EU) Delegation to Malaysia on a trade mission to Johor s17-19 May, led by H. E. Maria Castillo-Fernandez, Ambassador and Head of the EU Delegation to Malaysia.
The three-day mission aimed to provide an open platform for dialogue and cooperation between the European Union and the people of Johor, with a special focus on the areas of trade and investment as well as cultural exchanges.
The proceedings kicked off with a roundtable discussion with key personnel from Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) to hear about developments in the Iskandar Region, followed by a number of site visits to key business developments around Johor including Tanjung Pelepas Terminal and Pengerang.
Apart from business, trade and investment, the entourage of Ambassadors were also interested in experiencing first hand, the people of Johor, through its students, civil society, and business champions. To this end the EU Ambassadors also met with students and staff at University Teknologi Malaysia, held a dialogue with civil society and met with business representatives in Johor.
They held a discussion on multiple issues such as women’s and children’s rights, environment and human trafficking. Later, they met with Chief Minister of the State of Johor, Mohamed Khaled Nordin, in an engaging discussion about Johor-EU relations concerning politics, trade and culture, reported the Embassy of Danmark, Kuala Lumpur.
The first day ended with a visit to Tanjung Pelapas Port in Johor, which is among the world’s largest linchpins in the EU-Asia trade cooperation.
The mission also included an audience with His Royal Highness, the Sultan of Johor and a meeting with YB Dato’ Mohamed Khaled Nordin, Johor’s Menteri Besar.
“The EU is made up of 28 European countries, with a common purpose, common trade policy and common investment regime. In Malaysia, 17 European embassies are represented, supporting EU nationals, promoting EU businesses and working with the Malaysian Government to enhance our bilateral relationship including trade and investment. The EU enjoys a strong relationship with Malaysia; cooperation between the EU and Malaysia in has been a success story for a long time”, said Ambassador Maria.
The Ambassador also intimated Malaysia’s and the EU’s intention to restart negotiations on a free trade agreement. “We are confident that a resumption of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Malaysia and the EU will propel both countries towards our respective economic goals. The proposed Malaysia-EU FTA will undoubtedly boost total trade”, she added.
Sources: EU, Embassy of Denmark, Kuala Lumpur