The Malaysian Minister of Finance II, His Hon. Datuk Seri Johari Ghani led a delegation comprising 29 high-profile Malaysian government officials, industry captains and members of the Kuala Lumpur Business Club (KLBC), on a three-day business mission to Bangkok to further strengthen business relations and economic cooperation between Malaysia and Thailand. During the business mission, Datuk Seri Johari Ghani also paid a courtesy call on Thailand’s Prime Minister, H.E Prayuth Chan-ocha; Deputy Prime Minister, H.E. Somkid Jatusripitak, Minister of Finance H.E. Apisak Tantivorawong; and other high-level Thai government officials and regulators.
Datuk Seri Johari Ghani said “Malaysia and Thailand are important trade partners, with a combined total trade of more than USD20 billion in 2016, which is testament to the strong economic cooperation between the two countries. Through this mission, we look forward to further trade and investment cooperation, to strengthen the already strong bilateral ties between Malaysia and Thailand. We had a fruitful discussion with the Thai Prime Minister and his officials, who were informed that Malaysia will always welcome more Thai investments in Malaysia. The strengthening of the bilateral ties also bodes well with the overall spirit of ASEAN’s integration. Through the establishment of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) for example, we strive to open up the market further, creating more opportunities, removing trade barriers and increasing the meaningful participation of local players at the global and regional levels”.
Tengku Dato’ Sri Zafrul Aziz, President of KLBC said “As the global market begins to recognize ASEAN’s economic importance, both Malaysia and Thailand – being not just more advanced economies in this region but also immediate neighbours with 60 years of diplomatic relations – are well-poised to thrive as ASEAN begins to realise its full economic potential. KLBC is pleased to facilitate this opportunity for top corporate leaders from both countries to share, explore and discuss more business prospects between both countries.”
Tengku Zafrul was also there in his capacity as Group Chief Executive of CIMB Group, which, together with Malaysia-based Asian Leadership and Strategy Institute (ASLI), Malaysia-Thailand Business Council, and the Thailand-Malaysia Business Council jointly organised a business forum on 14 September. The forum was attended by prominent corporate leaders from both countries, who shared their insights on expanding Malaysia-Thailand trade ties, the challenges and opportunities afforded by ASEAN’s growing economic clout, and how China’s ambitious Belt and Road initiative would shape the new global economy, and set ASEAN countries on a more dynamic growth trajectory.
The business mission also included private meetings with Thai corporate leaders as well as visits to the Stock Exchange of Thailand and the Investory, which is the first Investment Discovery Museum in Thailand.