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Malaysia hosts National Day party

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Malaysia hosts
National Day party

Ambassador and Mrs. Dato’ Ramlan bin Ibrahim of Malaysia in Seoul hosted a reception at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul on Sept. 3, 2013 to celebrate the 56th National Day of Malaysia.

The spacious front lounge of the main Crystal Ballroom banquet Hall and filled with many congratulatory flowers from the business circles and various other public organizations and they were preceded by a lineup of utter beauties of Malay on both sides of the entrance hall, obviously the performing artists of Malaysia to present performances during the reception.

Ambassador and Mrs. Dato Ramlan bin Ibrahim of Malaysia (left and right).

There were many very important guests from both Korean society and the international community as well as from the Seoul Diplomatic Corps (SDC). The Korean guests included Vice Minister Cho Tae-yul of Foreign Affairs and Secretary General Chung Hae-Moon of ASEAN Korea Center.

From the SDC came many ambassadors, charge d’affaires (CDAs) and other senior diplomats. They included Ambassadors Mohammad Yunos Farman of Afghanistan, Ramzi Teymurov of Azerbaijan (CDA), Dato Haji Harun Ismail of Brunei Darussalam, Ky Sim Chan of Cambodia, Khamla Xayachack of Lao Republic, U Nyunt Hlaing of Myanmar, Peter Tan Hai Chuan of Singapore and Bakhtier N. Igragimov of Uzbekistan (CDA).

Speaking to the guests, Ambassador Ibrahim said, “31st August marks a special day for Malaysia. 56 years ago in 1957 Malaysia gained its independence and has since then emerged as a vibrant nation creating a common space for all its people to live and prosper in harmony and peace. Like many countries, the national day of independence is a day to rejoice and pay tribute to our forefathers whose vision had made it possible for us to be free and to call our home our nation state.” (Further details at the end of this Article.)

Ambassador Ibrahim’s speech was responded to by a congratulatory speech by Vice Minister Cho Tae-yul of Foreign Affairs, who praised remarkable development made in Malaysia since the Independence and the close ties of cooperation and friendship flourishing between Korea and Malaysia.

Members of traditional Malaysian music-dance troupe presenting a performance.

The speeches were followed by presentation of traditional Malaysian music and dances by a seemingly Malaysian profession troupe of folk performing artists. They won much admiration from the audience for their exotic music, rhythm and body movements.

Excerpts from speech:
At the outset, I would like to thank everyone for making the time to attend this auspicious occasion to celebrate Malaysia’s 56th National Day. I am very honoured to have your presence, it is indeed a joyous occasion to see familiar faces and I anticipate the forging of new friendships during this reception.

As we march forward as one nation, we continuously begin to redefine ourselves through the national transformation programme particularly to fast track our growth to join the ranks of high income developed country in less than a decade from now. We are confident that we could soon transform ourselves from a resource based economy to one that is service oriented. The nation’s mood is about embracing this change and transformation for a shared common future for all. This is an inclusive agenda that empowers all Malaysians.

This year, the theme chosen for Malaysia’s National Day is “‘My Sovereign Malaysia: My Native Land”. The theme which focused on the nation’s unity and patriotism is picked to remind the people on the importance of uniting to defend the nation and creating awareness of love and affection for the nation.

Ambassadors Dato Ramlan bin Ibrahim of Malaysia (sixth from left) cuts a celebration cake with other ambassadors and other guests.

In our quest to create national wealth, we are glad to have found many friends from around the world that saw Malaysia’s improving global competitiveness an attractive place to do business. More than 8,000 companies from 40 countries are profiting from the Government’s initiatives to create a robust and conducive environment for business and we are working to encourage more to do so. In this respect, we are encouraged by the level of our comprehensive bilateral relations with the Republic of Korea. Our diplomatic relations established in 1960 have gained so much traction over the past 50 years.

In 2012, Republic of Korea was Malaysia’s 10th largest trading partner, 8th largest export destination and 8th largest source of imports. We are happy to note that our trade volume had increased to US$17.6 billion last year from US$16.1 billion in 2011.

I am pleased to inform that Malaysia will be hosting the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) 2013 in Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) on 11 - 12 October 2013. 3,000 participants from 50 countries are expected to participate in the Summit including leaders from APEC countries. President Barrack Obama of the United States will also be attending the event. Entrepreneurs from the Republic of Korea are welcomed to register at GES 2013 to join a number of concurrent events and 11 satellite events and network with business leaders from around the world.

Korea is also one of Malaysia’s main sources of foreign direct investment since 1980. In 2012, Malaysia attracted RM162.4 billion in investments, more than any other year despite the uncertain global economic condition making the Republic of Korea the fifth largest foreign investor in the manufacturing sector with approved investments of USD535 million. For the period of January-May 2013, we are happy to note that the total amount of approved investments from Rep. Korea is USD556.1 million, surpassing last year’s total performance by almost 4.0%.

Malaysia is proud to host more than 300 Korean companies, including many top chaebols, in the manufacturing sector and selected services sector including those that have established their regional operations in Malaysia with investment of USD4.0 billion. These projects have created more than 47,000 jobs in Malaysia. Malaysian businessmen too have come to regard Korea as a lucrative base for investment. Malaysia is optimistic that given the opportunities created under the on-going Transformation Program in the service industry and higher value added businesses in electronics and healthcare, it will continue to be an attractive place to invest.

이경식 기자  edt@koreapost.com

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