SEOUL, July 22 (NNN-Bernama) -- Bilateral relations between Malaysia and South Korea, including the aspect of trade, has shown a significant improvement.
This said Minister of International Trade and Industry Mustapa Mohamed, stems from the visits to the country by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak in April this year followed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (Malaysian King), Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, on July 19.
"The visits brought about greater understanding to the strengthening of relations that have been in place for the past 50 years.
"After the visit by the Prime Minister, more Korean companies are showing an interest in investing in Malaysia.
"The latest and sophisticated technology available in various fields in South Korea and the natural resources as well as human capital in Malaysia, has become a strong bonding to further propel the value of investments in the country," he added.
He told Bernama this after meeting with more than 20 company presidents and corporate leaders here last night.
Mustapa said over the past three weeks, a number of companies from South Korea had paid a courtesy call on the prime minister to state their intention to invest in Malaysia.
He said among the sectors identified as having the potential for development include renewable energy and "home shopping", that is purchasing via television with lower price offers for products.
"With the number of positive developments, we are confident the Prime Minister's aim of increasing the value of Korean investments in Malaysia by US$5 billion in three years will be achieved much faster.
He said at present, the value of South Korea's investments in Malaysia stood at US$4 billion with Samsung having the largest stake at US$1.4 billion, followed by Lotte, that is Honam Petrochemical Corp, at about US$1.3 billion.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian ambassador to South Korea, Ramlan Ibrahim said trade between both countries for the first five months of the year rose 5.8 per cent to US$7 billion.
"The visits by Malaysia's top two leaders after the last such visit in 2001, has succeeded in attracting more investors to Malaysia and subsequently, raised the value of trade," he added.