The year 2019 marks the 62nd anniversary of the Independence Day of Malaysia and also the establishment of Cambodia-Malaysia diplomatic relations which took place on the same date, 31 August 1957. The commemoration of these historic events this year is special because it is soon to be followed by the official visit to Cambodia of His Excellency Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Prime Minister of Malaysia, who was already a prominent political figure since our two countries started formal ties. On this auspicious occasion, I would like to convey my warmest congratulations to the government and the friendly people of Malaysia. Moreover, I wish to highly commend the whole Malaysian nation for achieving remarkable socio-economic progress since the declaration of independence.
Throughout these years, despite of the twists and turns of international politics with strong bearing on both countries, the peoples of Cambodia and Malaysia continue to cherish and nurture the spirit of friendship. This has served to foster good relations and cooperation between the two nations today in various areas in the political-security, economic and cultural domains. Cambodia and Malaysia maintain frequent high-level exchange of visits and meetings which helps strengthen cordial ties and boost bilateral cooperation for the mutual benefits of our two peoples. At the same time, both countries work closely together, along with other ASEAN members, to strengthen ASEAN integration and Community building and contribute to peace, security, stability and prosperity within and beyond the region.
His Excellency Dr. Mahathir had stirred great business and investment interest in Cambodia early on when he visited the country in April 1994 with more than 100 accompanying delegates from the private sector. Currently, there is a significant Malaysian business presence in Cambodia. Meanwhile Malaysia is now the largest importer of Cambodian rice in ASEAN and bilateral trade amounting to over 474 million US dollar in 2018 has increased sharply with the figure reaching more than 400 million US dollar just during the first half of 2019. There is also notable growth of tourism exchange, facilitated by direct air linkage, and good cooperation in other fields such as education and training and labor between the two countries.
His Excellency Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s upcoming visit to Cambodia on 2-4 September 2019, in particular the bilateral discussion between the illustrious and most senior Prime Minister of Malaysia and the longest-serving Prime Minister of Cambodia, Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, will certainly push our bilateral relations to new heights and reinvigorate closer and more fruitful cooperation between Cambodia and Malaysia.
Finally, I wish the people of Malaysia greater happiness and prosperity and enduring long-lasting friendship and growing cooperation between our two peoples.