From M. Saraswathy
SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 18 (NNN-Bernama) — Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim and his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau discussed ways to strengthen bilateral trade and investment between both countries on the sidelines of APEC Economic Leaders Meeting here.
The meet on Friday was upon Canada’s request.
Besides trade and investment, the discussions also centered around cooperation in cybersecurity, education, trade, energy, and climate change, said Anwar, who is also the Finance Minister.
The total trade between Malaysia and Canada in 2022 was RM10.35 billion (US$1=RM4.67), an increase of 4.2 per cent, from RM9.93 billion recorded in 2021.
In 2023, Putrajaya and Ottawa celebrates 66 years of official diplomatic relations.
Anwar said both of them exchange views on the issue of Palestine.
The Canadian Prime Minister highlighted the need to protect civilians on both sides and to address the humanitarian crisis.
Trudeau upholds the two-state solution and called for an independent Palestine but reiterated support for the need for Israel to protect itself and ensure its security.
Anwar stressed the need to address the root cause of the conflict and end Israeli occupation, and also highlighted that Israel has committed various atrocities against Palestinians in the past decades with impunity and continues to build and expand illegal settlements.
Both leaders agreed that the current conflict should serve as a wake-up call for the international community on the need to end Israeli occupation based on the two-state solution.
On other development, Trudeau pledged to do more to assist Rohingya refugees in Malaysia, said Anwar.
Malaysia also took the opportunity to raise the visa issue with Canada, whereby Malaysian tourists are required to obtain Canadian visa with a waiting period between four and six months, while Canadian tourists are accorded visa-on-arrival by Malaysia.
Malaysia’s Prime Minister reiterated his request that a reciprocal arrangement be accorded to Malaysia, similar to visa-on-arrival facility accorded by Canada to Malaysia’s neighbouring countries in the region.
In response, Trudeau promised that he would rectify the situation as soon as possible.