Hollande arrives for 2-day visit
KUALA LUMPUR: Ties between Malaysia and France look set to soar to new heights as French President François Hollande arrives for a two-day state visit today.
A series of economic, defence, cultural and trade discussions have been lined up for his visit, which kicks off after his arrival at Bunga Raya Complex, KLIA in the evening.
The French entourage consists of 170 people, including four cabinet members.
A state welcoming ceremony will be held at the Parliament Square tomorrow morning.
On the same day, Hollande is expected to attend a joint press conference organised by the Prime Minister’s Office, after meeting Datuk Seri Najib Razak and signing several memoranda of understanding (MoUs).
He is also due to attend a signing ceremony of economic and trade MoUs in the presence of International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, after a private meeting with French entrepreneurs.
Later, Hollande is scheduled to make an appearance at the Royal Malaysian Air Force in Subang Jaya as well as the Islamic Arts Museum where a signing ceremony between the president of Paris’ Guimet Museum and Malaysia Islamic Arts Museum director will take place.
At the residence of French ambassador Cristophe Penot, Hollande will attend the conferment ceremony of Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh, who will receive France’s highest state award, the Commandeur in the National Order of Legion d’Honneur.
Hollande is then scheduled to have a royal audience with Yang di-Pertuan Agong at a state banquet after a meet-and-greet session with the French community at the embassy.
Penot reportedly said Malaysian-French ties would strengthen in the areas of defence and trade following Hollande’s state visit — the second after then-president Jacques Chirac visited Kuala Lumpur 14 years ago.