Islamabad: Pakistan’s imports to Malaysia were growing steadily and expected to cross US$280 million by the end of this year at the back of a growing demand for its food products, including rice, fruits and vegetables, in the Malaysian market, says a press release received on Sunday from Malaysia.
“Currently, bilateral trade between Pakistan and Malaysia has gone up by 13% to hit US$2.8 billion in 2011, while Pakistan’s exports to Malaysia have also increased by 70% , to achieve US$253 million in 2011,” said Masood Khalid, outgoing Pakistan High Commissioner to Malaysia, at a farewell and appreciation reception organised for him by the Malaysia-Pakistani Business Council.
The event, which took place at ShangriLa Kuala Lumpur, was attended by both members of the business council, representatives of civil society, Pakistani community and the officials of Pakistan High Commission in Malaysia.
Council’s office bearers, including its Chairman Datuk Mohamad Salim Fateh Din who has this year been conferred Tamghai Imtiaz Medal of Distinction by the Government of Pakistan, were also present.
In his address, Mr. Masood Khalid said that although he would miss the environment and people in Malaysia, he could look back with some satisfaction over the past two years since taking up the post. He also praised the cooperative efforts championed by Mohamad Salim and the MPBC in furthering business collaboration between both countries.
The outgoing high commissioner also offered his opinions on how both countries could achieve more symmetrical trade relations, and pointed out other aspects of bilateral relations which could be further developed, such as education and culture.
Masood, whose next posting will be in Beijing as Pakistan’s Ambassador to China, said he looked forward to the new posting, given China’s close relationship with his country.
“With China being the new focus in Asia and a country which we have had a long and extensive relationship with, it is an important assignment by any measure. It will be a challenging one, but one I look forward to meeting,” said Masood.
Earlier, Mohamad Salim expressed his mixed emotions in opening the reception, stating it was both a sad and happy occasion. “It is sad because we will be losing a dignified and outstanding gentleman. Happy, because we have accomplished so much together over the past two years,” said Mohamad Salim.
Both the High Commissioner and Mohamad Salim agreed that there were other industries which could be further developed utilising skilled and semiskilled labour from Pakistan in assisting Malaysia achieve its Vision 2020 objectives, given the number of postgraduate Pakistani students already studying in Malaysia.