Putrajaya (Malaysia): Pakistan on Wednesday signalled its interest in closer collaboration with Malaysia in its high-tech industry.

Visiting Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan met his Malaysian counterpart Dr Mahathir Mohammad at the Prime Minister Office in Putrajaya for a round of bilateral discussions.

Imran said he was particularly keen to meet Mahathir to learn from his experiences in building up his country’s economy, given the way he turned it around and raised its GDP.

The Pakistan PM said both their governments got a mandate from their people to fight corruption and said his country would like to learn from Malaysia’s experiences and accomplishments.

He said Pakistan would also like to learn from Malaysia how it coped with its debt crisis and how to optimally exploit its untapped tourism potential.

Mahathir said his country would also take up Pakistan’s desire for a dialogue partner in the Asean Forum.

The Malaysian PM recalled the traditional friendship between the two countries, and said the two leaders discussed ways to further boost their bilateral ties in all areas.

Both the leaders welcomed continued efforts to intensify cooperation between Malaysia and Pakistan.

They agreed to expand trade and investment, create favourable conditions for commerce and business in both countries, particularly in palm oil, agri products, food retail, halal products, automotive parts, energy, science and technology, and telecommunication.

The sole electricity utility in Malaysia, Tenaga Nasional Berhad was also open to business opportunities with Pakistan including in renewable energy.

Mahathir said, since he returned to office, Imran Khan was the first world leader to have visited Malaysia.

He said they talked about ties in finance, investment, tourism and the halal food industry.

Mahathir said he had also accepted an invitation to visit Pakistan and attend the 23rd March Pakistan Day parade.

Imran is on a two-day official visit to Malaysia at the invitation of Mahathir.

Earlier, he was accorded a warm reception when he arrived at the Prime Minister Office. He reviewed a guard of honour and was introduced to the members of Cabinet by Mahathir.

A joint statement issued here from the Foreign Office said both leaders held fruitful and in-depth discussions, in a warm and cordial atmosphere.

The two leaders welcomed the establishment of Bilateral Consultation between the senior officials of both Ministries of Foreign Affairs to intensify engagements between both sides. The first Bilateral Consultation in this regard will be held in Islamabad next year.

Mahathir reiterated Malaysia’s commitment to assist Pakistan in addressing its energy shortfall in view of the Inter-Governmental Agreement on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) between Malaysia and Pakistan signed in November 2017. Imran Khan welcomed Malaysia’s cooperation in LNG and other energy sectors including hydroelectric and renewable resources.

Recognising Malaysia’s success in the high-tech industry hub in the northern state of Penang, Pakistan highlighted its intention to explore greater collaboration between high-tech industries in Malaysia and Pakistan.

Malaysia invited Pakistani companies to invest in Malaysia in both manufacturing and services sectors where the companies were able to leverage Malaysia’s strategic location in expanding their investments into Asean and the Asia Pacific regions. Pakistan invited potential Malaysian companies to explore the possibility of investing in Special Economic Zones to take advantage of Pakistan’s strategic location at the crossroads of Central, South and West Asia.

Malaysia also took note of the massive counter terrorism efforts that Pakistan has successfully undertaken in an effort to eliminate terrorism, the joint statement said.

Referring to the Malaysia-Pakistan Closer Economic Partnership Agreement (MPCEPA) signed on November 8, 2007 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Pakistan recognised the importance of regular discussions to strengthen the trade relationship in key sectors and addressing bilateral trade imbalance.

Imran and Mahathir welcomed continuing efforts to further enhance bilateral economic relations and underscored importance of these efforts in advancing cooperation between Malaysia and Pakistan.

They said they looked forward to a possible MPCEPA Joint Committee Meeting in the near future with the intention to enhance further economic partnership.