President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Saturday said his state visit in Malaysia will lead to more trade and bigger investments that could reach $3.5 billion.
The President made the announcement in his arrival statement at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
“It has been clear that relations between the Philippines and Malaysia are positive, and we have agreed to strengthen our trade relations and looked at a value of $3.5 billion to $4.5 billion, with the Halal industry in focus. Prime Minister Najib (Razak) also expressed his country’s support for our banking and financing sector which would play a crucial role in stirring economic growth in Muslim Mindanao,” Aquino said.
The visit to Malaysia also resulted in the signing of several agreements on Education, Culture, Arts and Heritage and strengthening security.
Malaysia brokered the peace negotiations between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
“Malaysia is aware that conflicts affect the stability of the country and those surrounding it. In the same vein, peace, security and progress in a certain region augurs well for the neighboring countries. We agreed that we need a peaceful and just resolution to the conflict within the bounds of law,” the President pointed out.
“We have invited them [Malaysian investors] to come to Mindanao now that we can already see lasting peace in the horizon, and we expect that the entry of these investments to bring prosperity to our people,” he added.
Also, the President lauded the members of the Filipino Community in Malaysia who raised P11 million for the renovation of the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.
“It is very comforting to hear such news that Filipinos are going out of their way to help our government,” Aquino said.
The President said Malaysia also expressed readiness to help the Philippines in the field of Islamic banking and finance.
During the visit, the President met with His Majesty The Seri Paduka Baginda Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, the Head of State of Malaysia.