ANKARA, April 16 – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s three-day official visit to Turkey beginning Wednesday will further bilateral relations between Malaysia and Turkey, said Malaysia’s Ambassador to Turkey, Amran Mohamed Zin. He said the mission was aimed at boosting trade and investment between Malaysia and Turkey and strengthen business networking between the private sectors of both countries. “The visit will seek to broaden and deepen the existing cooperation between Malaysia and Turkey as well as to provide an excellent opportunity for the leaders of both countries to exchange views and achieve closer understanding on issues of mutual interest,” he told reporters here today. The Prime Minister will be accompanied by his wife Datin Sri Rosmah Mansor, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir and senior government officers.
“The visit will further enhance the close bilateral ties between both countries particularly with the signing of the Malaysia-Turkey Free Trade Agreement,” said Amran. The signing will be witnessed by Najib and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who had extended the invitation for the Malaysian leader to visit Turkey. “Both Prime Ministers will also witness the signing of several other Memoranda of Understanding between institutions of higher learning and private sectors of the two countries. “Total trade between Malaysia and Turkey last year stood at US$1.1 billion. Malaysia and Turkey are targeted to increase trade volume to US$5 billion in five years time,” he said. Amran said the FTA will not only benefit local companies in both countries but also attract investors to locate their operations here in order to reap the FTA benefits. Amran said the prime minister was scheduled to arrive at the Esenboga International Airport here at 11pm Wednesday (Malaysian time 4am April 17), from Kuala Lumpur.
Tomorrow (Thursday), Najib is scheduled to call on Turkish President Abdullah GUlan and meet Erdogan for a restricted meeting, followed by a delegation meeting, here. Najib is also scheduled to deliver a lecture titled ‘Malaysia-Turkey Strategic Partnership in a Globalising Asia’ at an event organised by the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research and International Strategic Research Organisation of Turkey, in collaboration with the Foundation of Research on Transformation of Malaysia. He is also scheduled to deliver a keynote address at a business roundtable luncheon organised by the Union Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey and the Foreign Economic Relations Board, in collaboration with the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade).