Uzbekistan Can Use Malaysia As Springboard To Asean

From Jamaluddin Muhammad

TASHKENT (Uzbekistan), Nov 17 (Bernama) — Uzbekistan can use Malaysia
as a springboard to export its products to the Asean market, Datuk Seri
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Monday.

Likewise, Malaysia could use Uzbekistan as a hub for its market in Central Asia, the Malaysian prime minsiter said.

Uzbekistan could look beyond its region to expand its market, he told a
joint news conference with Uzbek President Islam Karimov at the
Presidential Residence, Durmen, here.

Earlier, Abdullah, who is on the second day of a four-day official
visit here, had a meeting with Karimov before leading their respective
delegations in a meeting at Durmen, where he was also given an official

He said the two countries could also explore untapped areas such as agriculture and agro-based industry.

“We have agreed to cooperate in developing agriculture and agro-based industry using technology as a catalyst,” Abdullah said.

He said both countries could produce products not only for local
consumption but also for comsumption beyond their respective regions,
besides establishing air links between them.

Presently only Uzbekistan Airways flies twice a week to Malaysia
and cooperates with Malaysia Airlines on a code-sharing basis.

Apart from the current cooperation between the two countries on oil and
gas, they could also cooperate on developing the tourism industry as
well as using Malaysia as halal hub, Abdullah said.

He also touched on Islam Hadhari, or civilisational Islam, and welcomed
scholars from Uzbekistan to visit Malaysia to undertake further
research and discussion with their Malaysian counterparts and
experience first-hand Islam Hadhari as practised in Malaysia.

He reiterated his statement that Islam Hadhari promoted good governance as well as economic and social progress.

Karimov, in his opening remarks before the bilateral meeting, said Islam Hadhari had the full support of Uzbekistan.

Describing Malaysia as a reliable partner, he said the country had
benefited a lot from the assistance given by Malaysia in training its
specialised human resources through the Malaysian Technical Cooperation

Earlier, both leaders witnessed the signing of four memorandums of understanding on:

*Cooperation in science and technology signed by Unity, Culture,
Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal and Chairman of the
Coordination of the Science and Technology Development of Uzbekistan
Shavkat Salihov.

*Cooperation in the field of Higher Education signed by Higher
Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin and Minister of
Higher and Secondary Specialiased Education of Uzbekistan Azimjon

*Cooperation on Human Capital Development in the Oil and Gas
Industry signed by Petronas President and Chief Executive Officer Tan
Sri Hassan Marican and Uzbek Deputy Prime Minister II Ergash Shaismatov

*Protocol of Effective Date for Surkhanski Exploration Agreement between Uzbekistan and Malaysia signed by Hassan and Ergash.