This morning at Cheong Wa Dae, President Moon Jae-in held a summit with Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad, who is making an official visit to Korea to attend the 2019 ASEAN-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit.
At their hour-and-15 minute summit that started from 10:35 a.m., the two leaders extensively discussed ways to promote substantive cooperation for stronger Korea-Malaysia relations and to work together on the international stage.
President Moon began by saying, “I am pleased that bilateral cooperation, including the first hosting of the Korea-Malaysia International Halal Conference, is proceeding seamlessly since the signing in March of an MOU on halal cooperation between our two countries.” He proposed continually creating opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation between Korea and Malaysia, a halal industry hub.
In reply, Prime Minister Mahathir said he would enhance cooperation by providing active support to Korean businesses seeking relevant certifications as they enter the halal industry.
President Moon explained that Korea could become an optimal partner as it is recognized as the world leader in the field of digital government. He said, “I hope the MOU on digital government cooperation signed this time will contribute to the successful implementation of the Malaysian Public Sector ICT Strategic Plan 2016-2020.”
President Moon went on to say, “I’ve heard that the Prime Minister attended the christening ceremony for an offshore plant ordered by Malaysia’s state-owned petrochemical company Petronas during your visit to Korea this time.” The President then asked for continued cooperation in energy development, offshore plants and shipbuilding between the two countries.
President Moon also noted, “In accordance with the two countries’ smart city MOU, research into the basic plan for building a smart city in Kota Kinabalu is nearing completion,” expressing his hope that the joint project proceeds smoothly and becomes a symbolic model for mutual benefit.
Saying that both shipbuilding and smart cities are sectors that prove the scope of bilateral cooperation has expanded further, Prime Minister Mahathir proposed that both countries work to strengthen cooperation to enhance capabilities in the areas concerned.
Noting that Malaysia is a bridgehead for an advance into the Arab world, the Prime Minister added that if Korea would like to make inroads into Arab countries, it should use Malaysia as a base to expand exchanges.
Highly praising the taste of Korean strawberries, Prime Minister Mahathir asked how to cultivate such delicious strawberries and whether this cultivation would be possible in Malaysia if one were to learn strawberry growing methods in Korea. The Prime Minister showed considerable interest in Korea’s smart farm technology, asking if joint research could help find solutions to problems associated with growing agricultural products in Malaysia with its hot, humid climate.
Prime Minister Mahathir said that he had personally driven a hydrogen-powered NEXO in Malaysia. The Prime Minister pointed out that Korean cars are equipped with heated steering wheels whereas a cooling feature is needed in Malaysia due to its hot weather, which drew broad agreement.
Prime Minister Mahathir said he watched a fantastic performance of actual and virtual dancers performing harmoniously as if together on stage during the ASEAN-ROK Startup Summit held at BEXCO in Busan on November 26. The Prime Minister went on to say that the exceptional level of Korea’s video and broadcasting technology was clearly evident, asking for bilateral cooperation in this area so that such technology could be utilized in Malaysia.
In conclusion, President Moon said, “I congratulate Malaysia on its hosting of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting next year. The Korean Government will also provide active support to ensure that it can be held successfully.”