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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Malaysian firms to ink $1 billion in local deals

Malaysian firms to ink $1 billion in local deals

Malaysian firms to ink $1 billion in local deals

Malaysia’s Najib flies in to witness agreements with Hun Sen

SIX business deals worth a total of US$1 billion are to be signed by representatives from Cambodia and Malaysia’s private sector today, according to Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan.

The approval of the agreements, thought to consist of five memorandums of understanding and a letter of agreement, will coincide with a three-day official visit to the Kingdom by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

On Sunday, Phay Siphan said that the deals – the full details of which have yet to be disclosed – relate to the education, agriculture and information security sectors, among others.

Minister of Information and government spokesman Khieu Kanharith said Sunday that a meeting between business representatives from the two countries is to be held and a trade agreement signed.

“It will be signed by private companies from the two nations. Officials from both sides are working on this issue,” Khieu Kanharith told the Post.

The renewed push for economic links between the two nations comes off the back of declining bilateral trade figures.

Figures released in February by the Malaysian Embassy showed that trade declined more than 6 percent in the first eleven months of 2009, compared to the same period of 2008.

Recorded trade from January to November 2009 was $156.1 million, down from $166.8 million in 2008 – a drop of 6.4 percent.

Malaysia’s exports to Cambodia fell by 8 percent, to $142.1 million in 2009 from $154.4 million in 2008, while Cambodia’s exports to Malaysia rose 22.8 percent, to $14 million from $11.4 million.

Malaysian Embassy Charge d’Affairs Syed Farizal Aminy Syed Mohamad warned at the time that measures were needed to facilitate trade.

Phay Siphan added Sunday that Malaysia is the fourth-largest foreign investor in Cambodia, following China, Vietnam and South Korea.

It is the number one destination for Cambodians working outside the Kingdom, he said.

Apart from the meeting with Hun Sen, which is due to take place in Phnom Penh's Council of Ministers office, Najib Razak is set to meet King Norodom Sihamoni, Senate President Chea Sim and National Assembly president Heng Samrin.