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Malaysia Keen To Offer Expertise In Islamic Finance, Halal Products To Philippines
PUTRAJAYA, Feb 28 (Bernama) -- Malaysia is keen to offer its expertise in Islamic finance, banking services and promotion of halal products to the Philippines, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Friday.
"President Aquino will like us to help them in Islamic banking and finance and the possibility of Malaysia's participation in Islamic banking in the Philippines and I offered him we could train Filipinos in the field of Islamic banking and finance.
"We also discuss on the potential of halal products to be promoted between the two countries," he told a joint media conference with visiting Philippine President Benigno Aquino after their bilateral talks.
Najib said although bilateral trade between the two countries stood at about US$4.5 billion, but given the size of the Philippines, both parties believe the potential was far than that.
"Both governments have agreed that we should encourage the value and volume of bilateral trade to increase," said Najib, who is also the Finance Minister.
Najib also congratulated Aquino for the Bangsamoro Agreement.
"The framework agreement has been signed and four annexes, which constitute the comprehensive agreement, must be signed by end-March.
"President Aquino has invited me to attend the (signing) ceremony and I look forward to attend the great historic ceremony, which would usher in a new era for the people of the Philippines, particularly in southern Philippines," he said.
Najib said the peace in the area would not only benefit the people of the Philippines but also Malaysia and the region as a whole.
"Malaysia is delighted that we could play our part as a facilitator to support this process and to add strength to the process. We will offer capacity building for the Bangsamoro people because being part of the future government in southern Philippines, will require them to have new skills," he stressed.
Najib said that in addition to close cooperation between the security forces and the police of both countries, there should be a timely exchange of intelligence as well as to ensure a high degree of deterrence.
"In this regard, we are working on the possibility of establishing a hotline between our security forces in the event a security incident has happened and we need to ensure immediate interdiction on our Malaysian side as well as on the Philippines side.
"That is very important...once you have peace and security, trade and investments would flow into southern Philippines as well as in Sabah.
Aquino said his government encouraged Malaysian businessmen to invest in Mindanao, southern Philippines.
"We are inviting Malaysia to work with us to develop the palm oil industry in the Philippines and other agriculture-related sub-industries.
"This is an area that will open more doors of growth opportunities for the people of the two countries," he added.
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