Collaborate with Malaysia to tap larger Asean market, UAE investors told

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DUBAI, Oct 30 – Investors and businesses collaborating with Malaysia will be accessing opportunities in the much larger Asean market, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

“Our strong Islamic finance architecture is just one reason to do business with Malaysia. We are also a strategic business partner within Asean,” Najib, who is also finance minister, said this at the roundtable meeting with United Arab Emirates (UAE) investors here today (Wednesday).

Next year, Najib said that “Malaysia, which is at the heart of Asean”, would assume the chairmanship of Asean.

“With a population of more than 600 million, and a combined gross domestic product of over US$2.3 trillion, Asean is fast emerging as a potentially huge regional market for goods and services,” he said.

“And next year will be particularly significant, as it marks the beginning of a new phase in Asean’s story, as we begin regional economic integration,” he said.

Asean is made up by 10 South-East Asian countries.

The roundtable meeting, organised by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry and Malaysian Investment Development Authority, is held in conjunction with the 10th World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF).

Also present at the meeting were Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed and Advisor to the Prime Minister’s Department, Tan Sri Dr Ir Jamaluddin Mohd Jarjis.

Najib, who is patron of the WIEF Foundation, is here for a three-day working visit which is scheduled to end Thursday.