Foreign Affairs sec-gen to lead delegation to Australia, New Zealand

Foreign Affairs Ministry secretary general Datuk Seri Ramlan Ibrahim will lead the Malaysian delegation to the Foreign Ministry Consultations between Malaysia and New Zealand in Wellington, New Zealand, on Aug 14 and to the Senior Officials Talks between Malaysia and Australia in Canberra, Australia, on Aug 16.

The ministry, in a statement yesterday, said the New Zealand delegation will be led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade secretary Dr Brook Barrington, while the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia secretary Frances Adamson will lead the Australian delegation to the meeting.

During these meetings in Wellington and Canberra, the respective heads of delegation will take stock of the progress of the existing bilateral cooperation and discuss the current regional and international issues of mutual concern.

“They are expected to touch on issues related to Asean, the United Nations, South China Sea, developments in the Pacific, counter-terrorism and the Middle East conflict,” the statement said.

It said the meetings are timely as Malaysia celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations with New Zealand and Australia this year.

Malaysia’s bilateral relations with New Zealand and Australia have grown steadily and can be described as broad- based and substantive.

From January to May 2017, bilateral trade between Malaysia and New Zealand increased by 42.1% to RM3.25 billion compared to RM2.28 billion for the corresponding period in 2016. During the same period, bilateral trade between Malaysia and Australia also recorded an increase of 30.8% to RM22.3 billion compared to RM17.04 billion a year ago. — Bernama