Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad yesterday left Phnom Penh after a fruitful three-day visit to the Kingdom.
During his visit, Mr Mahathir and Prime Minister Hun Sen witnessed the signing of two agreements, an MoU on Tourism Cooperation and the Agreement on the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income.
A joint government statement released on Tuesday said both leaders also expressed their satisfaction on the growing ties of friendship and close cooperation between the two countries in multiple domains, including trade and investment, halal industry development, defence and security, tourism, agriculture, and education.
“They reaffirmed the importance of further strengthening and expanding cooperation and collaboration in bilateral, regional and multilateral frameworks for the benefit of the two peoples, thereby contributing to peace, stability and prosperity in the region as a whole,” the statement noted.
It said the two leaders also briefed each other on the recent political and economic developments in their respective countries and discussed various aspects of bilateral relations between the two countries.
“Prime Minister Hun Sen highly praised the achievements gained by Malaysia under the leadership of Prime Minister Mahathir in steering Malaysia to become a developed country in 2025,” the statement said. “Prime Minister Mahathir commended the continued success of the Cambodian Government in maintaining peace, stability and high economic growth, under the leadership of Prime Minister Hun Sen.”
In the context of Asean, Cambodia and Malaysia reaffirmed their commitment to the realisation of the regional grouping’s end goal of economic integration.
The statement also said Mr Mahathir had invited Mr Hun Sen to pay an official visit to Malaysia which he accepted.
During his visit, Mr Mahathir also attended an open dialogue entitled “Balancing Relations with the Superpowers in the Context of Asean” at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, where hundreds of students gathered to hear him speak.
Chheang Vannarith, Asian Vision Institute president, yesterday said Mr Mahathir inspired many young Cambodians who attended the open dialogue at the university.
“He was frank and honest in responding to the questions raised by the students,” he said. “The political commitment from both countries to advance the bilateral relationship is clear. More economic cooperation and cultural exchanges are expected in coming years.”
“There is a huge potential for both countries to explore and exploit. They need to make use of the existing sound and robust political trust,” Mr Vannarith added.