By Manik Mehta
BERLIN: Efforts are being made to improve Malaysia-Germany relations through the exchange of visits by the leaders of the two countries, said Malaysian Ambassador to Germany Datuk Zulkifli Adnan.
He said a suitable date was being worked out for the visit of Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to Germany.
“A probable date for the visit could be end of September when the Prime Minister could stop in Germany on his way back to Malaysia after attending the General Assembly session at the United Nations in New York, usually, in the third week of September.
“So, we are keeping the fourth week of September window open for the Prime Minister’s visit,” he told Bernama.
Zulkifli said Malaysian and German experts maintained that German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to Malaysia can take place after Najib visits Germany.
Several events in Germany in the past few weeks have seen Malaysian participation.
Malaysian Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz was in Berlin to attend the International Tourism Bourse held from March 9 to 13.
He signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Singapore Airlines to promote Malaysia as a destination by bringing in tourists from Germany.
Some 50 Malaysian companies participated in the fair under the Malaysian pavilion.
The tourism sector, which is one of the top three sources of foreign exchange for Malaysia, has become of great importance for the Malaysian economy.
“The signing of the MoU with Singapore Airline is a significant move. We want to attract tourists – it does not matter which airline they take,” Zulkifli said.
Thirty Malaysian students arrived recently to study highly-specialised engineering subjects at various German institutions of learning.
These students are likely to foster closer ties between the two countries when they assume positions of responsibility in their native country and promote ties with Germany in a number of fields – be it business, trade, engineering, technical collaborations, etc.
Meanwhile, Zulkifli, who is also the chairman of the Berlin ASEAN Committee, will participate in the ASEAN Ambassadors’ Power Talk, together with ambassadors of Vietnam and Thailand, at the ASEAN Investment Forum to be held on April 19 in Frankfurt.