MILAN (Italy), Oct 15 (Bernama) — Malaysia is among countries with an important role at the 10th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit and the related meetings here, with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak among the “most wanted” personalities to meet for his ideas during the summit.
Malaysian ambassador to Italy, Datin Paduka Halimah Abdullah said the two-day summit from Thursday would gather 53 nations from two continents, making it an important forum for countries from Asia and Europe to discuss current issues such as the unencouraging economic growth and unemployment in some of the European countries.
“The summit provides an opportunity for the participating countries to stress on enhancing cooperation to spur economic growth and to increase employment opportunities,” she told Malaysian journalists covering the ASEM Summit, here, Tuesday.
She said the summit this time with the theme, ‘Responsible Partnership for Sustainable Growth’ would be held at Milano Congressi or the MiCo Conference Centre, and it was Malaysia’s turn as the coordinator for Asean at the summit.
Halimah said Najib who would be arriving in Milan on Wednesday for the summit, would make a statement at the first plenary session and he would also attend the ASEM retreat.
She said the Malaysian Prime Minister would have a packed schedule throughout the summit where he would hold meetings with the leaders of Hungary, Finland, France, Lithuania, Norway and Vietnam, among them, to discuss bilateral issues and matters of common interest.
Meanwhile, the ambassador said, they were still waiting for confirmation on Najib meeting with the leaders of Germany, the Netherlands and Russia.
“These meetings were on their (the countries involved) request except for Italy. We (Malaysia) have asked for a meeting with Italy because the last time the two countries met was in 2007.
“So, we’ve definitely been waiting for a bilateral discussion between Malaysia and Italy,” she said.
Halimah described Malaysia-Italy relations as strong and friendly through the exchange of visits and the establishment of cooperation in trade and defence, among the areas.
Trade between Malaysia and Italy in 2013 amounted to about 2.2 billion Euro, an increase of 10 per cent from the previous year’s figure.
Halimah said Najib had also been invited to speak at the closing session of the Asia-Europe Business Forum (AEBF), which would be attended by about 300 captains of industry and corporate leaders from Asia and Europe.– BERNAMA