Official visit to Germany strengthens bilateral ties, says PM Anwar

Official visit to Germany strengthens bilateral ties, says PM Anwar

HAMBURG (March 16): Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim says his six-day official visit to Germany has strengthened the close friendship between the two countries.

Anwar, who arrived in Berlin, the capital of Germany, on March 10, said the visit also succeeded in enhancing trade cooperation and investment opportunities for Malaysia.

“I believe that through cooperation in various fields, it promises a more prosperous future and brings mutual benefits to the people of both countries,” he said at a press conference at the end of the visit to Berlin and Hamburg.

Anwar, who is also the Finance Minister, expressed appreciation to the ministries, government agencies, embassy officials, and the media who worked together to ensure the success of the visit.

During his time in Berlin, the Prime Minister held bilateral meetings with his counterpart, Chancellor Olaf Scholz, German Vice Chancellor and Economy and Climate Action Minister Robert Habeck, and paid a courtesy call on German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Accompanying the Prime Minister on the visit to Germany were Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz, and Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Datuk Ewon Benedick.

In his meetings with Scholz and Steinmeier, Anwar emphasised the urgent need for major world powers like Germany to address humanitarian issues in Gaza.

“Despite differences in opinions, it seems they are now emphasising the need to stop the attacks in Gaza to ensure stability, as well as a solution towards the formation of two states. This means recognition of the rights of the Palestinian people that have long been neglected,” he said.

According to Anwar, he also explained to German leaders the narrative of Western countries’ perceived injustice towards the oppressed and colonised Palestinian people.

Anwar said he also had the opportunity to visit mosques in Berlin and Hamburg to meet Muslims in Germany.

“Thankfully, the statements (regarding Palestine) received widespread coverage not only in Germany but also worldwide. Every time I visit mosques, Muslims from various countries can follow the statements, and this can enhance Malaysia’s reputation as a sovereign nation with its own stance as a free country,” he added.

The Prime Minister also said Malaysia welcomed the invitation from Chancellor Scholz to join the Climate Club and hoped it could be beneficial through technology transfer and capacity development.

Additionally, Germany has agreed to assist Malaysia in capacity development, especially in education and technical and vocational education and training (TVET) programmes, as well as worker exchange programmes between industry players and educational institutions.

Regarding the issue of difficulty in voting in the past two general elections, which was raised during his meeting with the Malaysian diaspora in Germany, Anwar said he had instructed the Election Commission (EC) to study the matter.

“The voting process for overseas voters should be made easier, unlike now where the process is quite cumbersome. I have asked the EC to consider implementation methods and provide space for overseas voters,” he said.

During his stay in the world’s third-largest economy, Anwar visited Siemens Energy and met with 38 industry captains and potential investors such as Schott AG, Infineon Technologies AG, Melexis, Nexperia, and Airbus.

He also shared views with thinkers at the Korber Foundation, a non-profit organisation focusing on social and political issues, and gave a keynote address at the SME Future Day 2024 organised by the German Federal Association of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (Bundesverband mittelständische Wirtschaft – BVMW)

In Hamburg, Anwar delivered a keynote address at the 101st East Asian Friendship Dinner (Ostasiatisches Liebesmahl) organised by the German Asia-Pacific Business Association.

“I received many invitations to give keynote speeches, including at the University of Berlin and Hamburg. However, they had to be declined due to time constraints,” he said.

Germany has been Malaysia’s largest trading partner among European Union member states since 2000, while Malaysia is Germany’s largest trading partner among Asean member states.

– Bernama

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