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Oleh/By		:	DATO' SERI DR. MAHATHIR BIN MOHAMAD 
Tempat/Venue 	: 	THE MALACANANG PALACE, 
			MANILA, PHILIPPINES 
Tarikh/Date 	: 	03/02/94 
Tajuk/Title  	: 	THE OFFICIAL DINNER HOSTED BY H.E. 
			FIDEL RAMOS PRESIDENT OF THE 
			REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES 



 Your Excellency President  Fidel  Ramos  and  Madam  Amelita
Ramos;
Honourable Secretaries and Ministers;
Distinguished Guests;
Ladies and Gentlemen,
     May  I  first  of  all  thank Your Excellency and your
Government  for  the  very   warm   welcome   and   generous
hospitality  accorded  to  my  wife and I, and members of my
delegation.  We are indeed very happy  to  be  here  in  the
Philippines  and  see for ourselves the dynamic changes that
are taking  place  in  this  beautiful  country  under  Your
Excellency's  leadership.  I am also particularly pleased to
be able to meet you again and to renew our friendship.
Your Excellency,
2.     The government and people  of  Malaysia  recall  with
fondness  your  visit  to our country last year during which
you demonstrated  your  firm  desire  to  enhance  bilateral
relations  with Malaysia and pledged your commitment to seek
a national consensus to resolve the Sabah issue.
3.      The new approach  in  our  relations  that  you  had
advocated  and  which  we  shared  had  helped to contribute
towards greater trust  and  understanding  between  our  two
countries.  The optimism spawned by your visit rekindles the
hope and vision of close and brotherly relations with active
political,  economic  and social interaction between our two
peoples.  Indeed, this is the way it should be  between  two
neighbouring   countries   that   are   linked,  since  time
immemorial, by a common culture and tradition.   It is  with
this  hope  and  vision in mind that I have embarked on this
journey to your country to return Your Excellency's visit to
Malaysia in January 1993.
4.    Our meeting this afternoon, during which we  discussed
issues  of  common  concern  and  reviewed  the  progress of
bilateral relations since your visit to  Kuala  Lumpur  last
year,  revealed yet again how much our views and aspirations
coincide.   It reaffirmed our faith that  in  you  and  your
government  we  Malaysians have a friend and partner whom we
can work with to bring relations between our  two  countries
to  even  greater  height.    I  feel gratified that all the
agreements reached  in  Kuala  Lumpur  are  being  seriously
looked  into  by officials of our two countries and progress
has been made in many  areas  of  cooperation.    The  Joint
Commission  has  been  established  and has successfully met
here in Manila last December, resulting in a broad range  of
agreements  to  cooperate in the field of agriculture, trade
and investment.
5.     Worthy of special mention is the agreement  to  enter
into  a  border crossing arrangement along the common border
between Malaysia and the  Philippines  in  order  to  combat
illegal entry, smuggling and piracy.
Your Excellency,
6.      It is also a matter of great satisfaction to me that
there  has  been  a  considerable  increase   of   Malaysian
investment  in  the Philippines.  Your visit to Malaysia has
contributed immensely towards  this  development.    Several
Memoranda   of   Understanding   have  been  signed  between
Malaysian  entrepreneurs  and  their  counterparts  in   the
Philippines.    A  few  major  Malaysian  corporations  have
already established their presence in this  country.    Many
others  have  shown  similar  interest, as manifested by the
number of Malaysian businessmen, entrepreneurs and corporate
figures that have joined me in this visit.   I am  confident
that   their   meetings   with  members  of  the  Philippine
Administration as  well  as  their  interaction  with  their
Filipino  counterparts  will  result in greater awareness of
the economic opportunities available  in  this  country  and
hopefully  will  lead  to  concrete  business  deals  in due
course.   As Malaysians  are  encouraged  to  seek  business
opportunities   in   the   Philippines   through  trade  and
investment,  Filipino  entrepreneurs  and  businessmen   are
welcome  to  do  likewise  in  Malaysia  where opportunities
abound due to its rapid industrial development.
7.     In a world where the globalisation of  industries  is
moving  ahead  at  a rapid pace the Government has urged the
Malaysian private sector  to  look  outward  and  to  invest
overseas  as well as forge strategic alliances with overseas
partners in order to maintain their competitive edge.  Today
in your presence, Mr. President, I would like to repeat that
call with a specific  request  to  look  at  the  Philippine
private   sector  as  a  strategic  alliance  partner  whose
entrepreneurial skills are as  renowned  as  any.    Such  a
partnership  means  more  than just a business necessity; it
also adds meaning and substance to  ASEAN  cooperation  that
both our countries so firmly support.
8.        Malaysia,  since 1988, has been the second leading
ASEAN trade partner for the  Philippines.    But  the  total
bilateral  trade, averaging RM1.3 billion annually, is still
small.   Both countries can  take  the  necessary  steps  to
expand  and  increase  the volume of bilateral trade.  There
are many products which we can sell to  and  buy  from  each
other.  We can also cooperate in jointly producing items and
components  destined  not  only for each other's markets but
also markets elsewhere.  To encourage investments, we should
conclude a bilateral Investment Guarantee Agreements as soon
as possible.
9.    Malaysia is ready to exchange developmental experience
with the Philippines.  We can do this through the  Malaysian
Technical  Cooperation Programme, which the Phillipines have
availed in the past.   There are many  areas  in  which  our
experiences may prove useful.  We see the potential for both
countries   to   cooperate   in   various   fields  such  as
agriculture, tourism, transport and science and  technology.
We can certainly learn a lot from each other.
Your Excellency,
10.    On the international plane, the emergence of powerful
economic groupings that promote specific regional  interests
is  a  matter  of  great  concern to Malaysia.   We strongly
believe in the maintenance and  enhancement  of  free  trade
globally.  We are against discriminatory measures aimed only
to  protect  specific  interests at the expense of the small
and economically weak nations.  The successful conclusion of
the Uruguay Round has given some hope for  a  better  global
trading  environment.    But  we  must  remember that we are
economically weak still.  Level playing fields which the big
nations talk so much about are quite  meaningless  when  the
contest  is between giants and midgets.  GATT must take this
into consideration when enforcing its rules on weak nations.
11.   The establishment of the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA),
and the creation of growth areas at the  sub-regional  level
are  certainly  some of the positive steps towards enhancing
and strengthening economic cooperation and  expanding  trade
within  our  own region.   In this regard, Malaysia welcomes
the creation of the East ASEAN Growth Area (EAGA) which Your
Excellency has initiated and  tirelessly  promoted.    I  am
confident  that  with  the  full  cooperation  of  both  the
governments and private sectors of the countries  concerned,
the  EAGA  will  contribute  positively  towards the further
development of the region at large.
12.   The East Asian region is by far the most  economically
dynamic  region in the world today. This trend will continue
as we move into the twenty-first century.   Growth rates  in
this  region  averaged  7.8 percent in the last decade.  The
East Asian experience is certainly the envy of others.   The
East Asian countries must have a forum to consult each other
on  issues  of interest to them.  It is for this reason that
the East Asian Economic Caucus (EAEC) should be formed.  The
EAEC should be the consultative forum for the  countries  of
East  Asia  to  exchange  views  on various issues of common
concern.  I wish to reiterate here that  Malaysia  does  not
envisage the EAEC as an economic bloc.  It is never intended
to  be one in the first place.  I hope that Malaysia and the
Philippines  can  work  closely  together  with  the   other
countries  in  the  region  to  ensure that the EAEC becomes
operational as early as possible.   It will  help  the  less
developed   countries   in  East  Asia  to  learn  from  the
experience of the successful ones.  More than that the  EAEC
can actually initiate cross investments which can accelerate
development and expedite technology transfer.  An East Asian
Crescent  of  Prosperity  can  then  emerge  and  act as the
locomotive of growth for the rest of the world.
Your Excellency,
13.     Before I  conclude,  I  should  like  to  take  this
opportunity  to once again thank you and Madam Ramos for the
very friendly reception and gracious hospitality accorded to
my wife and I, as  well  as  to  the  other  members  of  my
delegation.    We  feel  very  much  at  home  here  in  the
Philippines.  We hope to meet more friends  here  in  Manila
and  in  the important and popular regions of your beautiful
country which we will also visit.  As the Malay saying goes,
'Tak kenal maka tak cinta'.  It means that one will not love
if one does not know each other.  Your visit to Malaysia has
helped  to  rekindle  the  interest  for  Malaysia  and  the
Philippines  to know more about one another.  There is now a
genuine interest to rediscover commonalities on both  sides.
It  is  my  sincere  hope that with my visit, the peoples of
Malaysia and the Philippines will continue to  get  to  know
more  of  each other, to cooperate and to eventually resolve
our problems for the sake  of  our  common  future  and  the
future of the region.
                        
 
 



 
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