Malaysia mulls buying JF-17s from Pakistan
ISLAMABAD: Malaysia was considering to purchase JF-17 Thunder from Pakistan and a deal in this regard would be finalised between the two countries after completing required formalities, said Malaysian High Commissioner to Pakistan Dato’ Dr Hasrul Sani bin Mujtabar.
The high commissioner said that Pakistan and Malaysia were enjoying excellent relations in the defence sector as a result of Joint Committee on Defence of both the brotherly countries, which played a significant role as a very active forum. He said this jet fighter is considered an excellent production of Pakistan in the defence sector, and decision about the numbers would be taken very soon by the Malaysian government. About Pakistan-Malaysia relations, Hasrul Sani expressed his satisfaction over the existing bilateral relations saying that both the countries were enjoying cordial and fraternal bilateral relations, especially in the field of trade, economy and defence, beside others.
Talking about Pakistan as a trade partner, he said that Pakistan was one of the largest trade partner of Malaysia with a total trade volume of more than $2 billion, and that could be enhanced in the times to come. Responding to a question about main sectors of the trade between Pakistan and Malaysia, the high commissioner said that Malaysian trade with Pakistan ranged from energy sector to infrastructure and palm oil to service sector.
Giving details about Malaysian investment in Pakistan, he said that the Malaysian companies were very keen to invest in different sectors of Pakistan, but they were reluctant due to security situation in the country. Now, Malaysian investors may keen to invest in Pakistan again as the security situation has improved owing to the efforts of the government, especially after the success of operation Zarb-e-Azb against terrorists, he maintained.
He said that Malaysian investors were interested to invest in various sectors, especially in energy sector, oil and gas, mining, infrastructure and even in plantation of palm oil trees in the coastal areas of Pakistan through joint ventures. Malaysian companies were looking for joint ventures with Pakistani companies through chambers of commerce to invest in mining and energy sectors, especially in hydropower projects, he added. Giving example of revival of Malaysian investment in the Pakistan, he said PETRONAS, a leading Malaysian company, was considering coming back to Pakistan for investment in various sectors.
He expressed hope that the government of Pakistan will provide proper infrastructure, good banking system, besides one-window services to international companies to attract foreign investment. He said that many Malaysian and other international companies were interested to invest in various projects in Gwadar, but could not come due to unavailability of proper infrastructure and facilities.
Talking about the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), he said Pakistan is a blessed country with an important strategic position and it should take maximum advantage from this position for the development of the country and betterment of the nation through economic revolution. “We are happy over the announcement of the CPEC with a total volume of investment of over $40 billion, and this project will attract multi billion dollars further investment to Pakistan as it is being considered one of the biggest indicator for the better economic future of Pakistan, he commented.
Appreciating efforts of Pakistan for bringing peace in Afghanistan, he hoped there would be a permanent peace and stability in Afghanistan due to the efforts of the committee of the nation, especially neighbouring countries. Pakistan should also focus on enhancing its trade relations with ASEAN countries, as there was a great scope of exporting Pakistani goods, especially rice, beside other items, he suggested.
Regarding high-level visits between the two countries, he said invitations had already been exchanged at the premiers’ level, and it would be materialised by the first half of next year. He disclosed that the High Commission of Malaysia would very soon invite Pakistan’s president to visit Malaysia. Regarding flow of Pakistani students to Malaysia, he said right now more than 4,000 Pakistani students are studying in various Malaysian educational institutions and he expected more in the coming years. Talking about tourism opportunities in Malaysia, he said that about 80,000 Pakistani tourists are visiting Malaysia annually and there are numerous scope of more tourists to visit Malaysia.