FRENCH BOOST FOR
Second ever visit by a president in 14 years will highlight good ties
SYED UMAR ARIFF KUALA LUMPUR email@example.com
THE longstanding relations between Malaysia and France will strengthen in the areas of defence and trade following President François Hollande’s two-day state visit here starting tomorrow.
Hollande’s visit will be the second after Jacques Chirac arrived in Kuala Lumpur 14 years ago to signify the continuation of the enduring ties between the two nations since 1957.
“It is an important visit because it is the second ever by a French president to Malaysia.
“It highlights the friendship between our two countries. The president is honoured to carry out this state visit,” French Ambassador to Malaysia Christophe Penot said.
France was among the first European countries to establish diplomatic ties with Malaysia in the early days of its independence.
Decades down the road, the relationship has witnessed countless advancements, mainly in defence and education.
Malaysian-French bilateral trade value last year was recorded at €3.7 billion (RM17.6 billion), with a trade surplus of €638 million.
Both countries have forged firm cooperation in manufacturing, finance, insurance, and wholesale and retail sectors, with Malaysia being France’s fifth largest Asean trade partner.