KUALA LUMPUR, July 10 (Bernama) — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will make a two-day official visit to Turkmenistan from Monday at the invitation of Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.
Wisma Putra in a statement today said the visit represented a continuing initiative by Malaysia to further strengthen the existing close bilateral relations with Turkmenistan.
The visit was also in line with Malaysia’s larger interest to encourage and promote meaningful cooperation and dialogues among countries in the Central Asian region, it said.
“It is expected to further consolidate and boost bilateral relations and pave the way for more substantive bilateral cooperation primarily in the areas of oil and gas, trade, finance, investment, economy and human capital development between both countries for mutual benefit,” it said.
It will be Najib’s first official visit to Turkmenistan since becoming prime minister on April 3, 2009.
During the visit, Najib is scheduled to hold bilateral discussions with the Turkmenistan president on July 11 in Ashgabat, the capital.
On July 12, Najib and Berdimuhamedov will together inaugurate the Petronas Gas Terminal in Kiyanli, Turkmenbasy, about 600km from Ashgabat.
The statement said the extensive involvement of Petronas in the development of the oil and gas sector in Turkmenistan had been among the key components of Malaysia’s bilateral cooperation with the country.
Najib will be accompanied by his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop during the visit.
Other members of the Malaysian delegation include senior officials of the Prime Minister’s Office, Foreign Ministry and Economic Planning Unit of the Prime Minister’s Department.
In terms of trade relations, Turkmenistan is Malaysia’s third largest trading partner in the Central Asian region. Total trade between the two countries in 2010 was recorded at US$29.75 million, compared to US$205.61 million in 2009.
The decrease in bilateral trade volume in 2010 compared to 2009 was due to the sharp decline of Turkmenistan’s import of equipment related to its oil and gas industry, and of electrical and chemical products.
However, the trade balance remains in Malaysia’s favour.
Source : Bernama