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Oleh/By		:	DATO' SERI DR. MAHATHIR BIN MOHAMAD 
Tempat/Venue 	: 	BRASILIA 
Tarikh/Date 	: 	01/07/91 
Tajuk/Title  	: 	THE OFFICIAL DINNER HOSTED BY HIS 
			EXCELLENCY PRESIDENT FERNANDO 
			COLLOR DE MELLO PRESIDENT OF THE 
			FEDERATIVE REPUBLIC OF BRAZIL 





 Your Excellency President Fernando Collor de Mello;
Madame Collor;
Distinguished Guests;
Ladies and gentlemen,
    Permit  me, first of all to thank you Mr. President for
your kind invitation to visit Brazil officially and the warm
welcome that has been extended to my wife and I and  members
of  my delegation.  We are very happy to have had the oppor-
tunity to make this visit to your beautiful and  huge  coun-
try.
2.   Malaysia  and Brazil are separated by vast geographical
distances.  This has been compounded by our historical expe-
riences, our languages, cultures  and  religions.    But  on
closer  examination  there are elements of similarity in our
language and culture and in history.  The first European  to
come  to Malaysia were the Portuguese.  To-day we still have
a colony of people of  Portuguese  descend,  and  Portuguese
dances, songs and words are now a part of the Malaysian cul-
ture.    Still  our two countries are far apart and have had
little contact.  We must hasten to correct this and  to  lay
firm  foundations  on  which we could build a meaningful re-
lationship beneficial to both countries.
3.   Our bilateral trade, even though small,  has  been  in-
creasing  steadily  over  the  past few years.   There is no
doubt that there exists  potentials  and  possibilities  for
further growth.  The business community and Chambers of Com-
merce  in both Malaysia and Brazil have a major role to play
in exploring and establishing trading and  investment  links
which would bring direct benefits to both our countries.  It
is  for  this reason that I have brought with me a big group
of Malaysian businessmen who are keenly interested in devel-
oping business ties with Brazil.  I am hopeful that the con-
tacts they will establish here will help accelerate the pace
of cooperation not only between Malaysia and Brazil but also
between Brazil, and Southeast and East Asia.    Malaysia  is
ready  and  well  equipped  to  be the conduit to facilitate
Brazil's trade with the rapidly growing region in  East  and
South East Asia.
4.   The one problem which always arises when the discussion
centres  on trade and investment opportunities, not only be-
tween Malaysia and Brazil, but also between South East  Asia
and Latin America, is the lack of adequate shipping and air-
links  between our two regions.  This is a major drawback to
our efforts to bring us closer together.   Yet the  distance
between  Latin  America  and  East  Asia is not greater than
those between Europe and East Asia  and  North  America  and
East  Asia.  We must overcome this psychological barrier and
apply our minds and energy towards overcoming this  problem.
The  matter concerns not only the Governments of the two re-
gions but also the private sectors.  Joint efforts are  nec-
essary  if we are to make any progress.  The sooner we begin
addressing this problem, the better it would be for  all  of
us.
5.   Malaysia   and  Brazil  have  consistently  spoken  out
against the unfair trade practices of  the  developed  coun-
tries  which  discriminate  against our products, preventing
access to their markets.  We have also  spoken  out  against
the  unfair  and unstable prices we are getting for our pri-
mary products.   We have also  been  subjected  to  economic
pressures for alleged environmental crimes.
6.   Cooperation  amongst  developing countries is therefore
all the more vital now.   We should not  cut  ourselves  off
from the North.  But since the North can find markets in the
South  and  exploit  them, surely the countries of the South
too can have access to the same markets for our mutual bene-
fit.  While we can form regional groupings in  order  to  be
more  competitive  and to help each other grow, we must con-
tinue to keep trade free, for only through trade can we hope
to grow rapidly enough to catch up with the developed  coun-
tries.    Jointly the countries of the South can uphold free
trade and halt the slide towards protectionism in the North.
Your Excellency,
7.   The developing countries have  been  exploited  in  the
past  precisely because of the lack of unity and cooperation
amongst us.  We cannot let history repeat itself.   That  is
why Malaysia has been emphasising the urgent need for South-
South  Cooperation.   This is not to suggest a confrontative
approach -- that we take on the developed countries from the
North.   Malaysia remains convinced that  a  healthy  North-
South  trading  environment  remains  the  best scenario for
total world trade to grow.  But in the meantime, South-South
cooperation and trading arrangements must  be  explored  and
exploited.   We firmly believe that South-South Cooperation,
in  particular its trade component,  has  tremendous  poten-
tials if we collectively
put  our  minds to it.   The G-15 is one vehicle to energise
South-South Cooperation, not only in trade, but also in  in-
vestments,  in stimulating greater financial flows and their
related services and in promoting  relevant  technology  ex-
changes.  I believe we have only just begun tapping the sur-
face  potentials  in South-South Cooperation.   With greater
diligence and sustained efforts, we can  realise  fully  the
fruits  of  South-South collaboration.  Let us remember that
the massive trade we now have with  the  North  began  in  a
small way.  Just as that trade grew so can trade between the
South grow.
Your Excellency,
8.   Once  again  I  thank  you and the Government of Brazil
most sincerely for having made our visit such  a  happy  and
enjoyable  one.    I hope that Your Excellency will have the
occasion to visit Malaysia sometime in the future so that we
can continue the discussions we have had in Brasilia, and to
enable me to reciprocate the warm hospitality  you  have  so
generously lavished on us.
Ladies and gentlemen,
9.   May  I now invite you to join me in a toast to the good
health of His Excellency Fernando Collor de Mello, President
of Brazil, to the government and people of Brazil and to the
friendly relations between Malaysia and Brazil.
Thank you.

 
 



 
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