SEOUL – Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak is scheduled to arrive here Tuesday for a three-day official visit to South Korea to enhance bilateral relations, particularly in trade and investment.
He will be accompanied by his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, during the visit, which is at the invitation of South Korean President Park Geun-Hye.
Najib’s delegation includes International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed; Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Dr Ewon Ebin; Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin and senior government officials.
Wisma Putra, in a statement released here Monday, said the visit was expected to further strengthen the existing bilateral relations and build the personal rapport between Najib and Park.
“It will provide a good opportunity for both sides to explore and develop new areas of cooperation aimed at broadening the already comprehensive relations in all sectors.
“Within the scope of the second wave of the Look East Policy 2.0 a stronger economic focus would be made on elevating trade and investment potentials in priority areas of both countries’ comparative advantage driven by closer collaboration of both sides’ private sectors,” Wisma Putra said.
Najib will hold a bilateral delegation meeting with Park to steer the future direction of bilateral relations and exchange views on regional and international issues of common interest.
Park will also host an official lunch in honour of Najib and Rosmah and the Malaysian delegation.
Najib will also exchange views with his Korean counterpart on the promotion of peace and stability within the context of Malaysia’s Global Movement of Moderates (GMM) as well as on Asean-South Korea cooperation, particularly with Malaysia’s chairmanship of the regional grouping next year.
Najib is also scheduled to address Korean business leaders, including from LG, Samsung and KIA Motors, at a dialogue session.
The dialogue session is part of the continuous efforts to boost business interaction, attract more investors from South Korea to Malaysia as well as to reaffirm Malaysia as one of the top investment destinations.
South Korea is Malaysia’s seventh biggest trading partner and the second largest foreign investor, with approved investments of US$1.67 billion in 2013.
Malaysia’s trade with South Korea registered positive growth, with total trade reaching US$18.1 billion (RM56.9 billion) in 2013 as compared to US$15.9 billion (RM50.1 billion) in 2012.
“Overall, the visit will revitalise the long-standing close ties between Malaysia and South Korea and enhance the level of cooperation beyond the existing partnership,” Wisma Putra said.
After ending his official visit, Najib will proceed to Busan, some 325km southeast of Seoul, to attend the Asean-South Korea Commemorative Summit.
Malaysian Ambassador to South Korea Datuk Rohana Ramli said that in the tourism sector, South Korea was a popular destination for Malaysians who usually visited during the autumn and winter seasons.
Most Malaysians would not miss visiting Nami Island, where the Korean popular drama series Winter Sonata was filmed.
In 2013, some 207,727 Malaysians visited South Korea, while in the first seven months of this year 153,165 Malaysians have visited the country.
Meanwhile, a total of 274,622 South Koreans visited Malaysia in 2013 and, for the first seven months of this year, some 224,345 Koreans visited Malaysia.
The Koreans usually visit Malaysia during the winter season to escape the extreme cold weather back home.
A total of 589 Malaysians are studying in South Korea at the moment. – BERNAMA