PUTRAJAYA, May 5 (Bernama) — Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said bilateral relations between Malaysia and Lesotho which has been nurtured on the principles of mutual trust and respect must transcend the traditional and dominantly government to government model.
Najib said it was needed to encompass a broader and holistic one such as venturing into new potential business and economic cooperation.
“Although our bilateral trade is quite minimal, around USD1 million (RM3 million) a year, it grew by some 5.8 percent last year. The volume is small, but there is an upward swing which is an encouraging sign.
“We applaud the imitative by your government in organizing a trade mission to Malaysia in June 2010, led by your Minister of Trade, Industry, Cooperatives and Marketing,” he said at a luncheon held in honour of visiting Lesotho Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili at his official residence, Seri Perdana, here Thursday.
Najib said he hoped the cooperation between Lesotho and the Malaysian private sector to secure expertise, in several infrastructure and innovative ventures, would be mutually beneficial.
He said in the spirit of South-South cooperation, Malaysia has provided training courses to officials from developing countries, and a total of 94 officials of the government of Lesotho had benefited from this programme.
“I’m delighted that in the spirit of South-South cooperation, we will be able to assist your request for us to train your police officers and your diplomats,” he said.
Najib said in the field of higher education, he was happy to note that Limkokwing University of Creative Technology has a branch campus in Lesotho with about 1,500 students.
“I was told that there are 17 students from Lesotho studying at various educational institutions in Malaysia. I hope more students from Lesotho will come and pursue their studies here,” he said.
He also congratulated the Lesotho Premier in advance for the Honorary Doctorate in Leadership that would be conferred to him by the Limkokwing University tomorrow.
Najib also hoped that more people from Lesotho would visit Malaysia in the future as the records indicated that only 118 tourist came to the country last year.
Najib said with regard to people-to people contact, he understands that there was a growing interest on the part of Malaysians to visit Lesotho.
He said it was either to acquire a piece of the exquisite Lesotho diamonds or just skiing during the summer of the northern hemisphere.
Najib said he hoped to receive the Lesotho Premier again at the 9th Langkawi International Dialogue in Putrajaya next month.
Source : Bernama