Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is expected to further promote Malaysia-Africa ties, investment and trade when he arrives for the Global Smart Partnership Dialogue when he leads an over 100-member Malaysian delegation.
Among the items and sectors to be promoted are insurance and takaful software, security software, smart card, smart school, power generation, oil and gas services, halal cleaning services, tertiary education, palm oil, chemicals, machinery and building materials.
Malaysian High Commissioner to Kenya, Ismail Salam, who is also the Malaysian High Commissioner designate to Tanzania, said Najib would be joining 14 other heads of state and government from African countries at the dialogue to be held at the Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre, named after Tanzania’s founding father, on Saturday.
With the dialogue’s theme of “Leveraging Technology for Africa’s Socio-Economic Transformation”, Najib is expected to share his transformation programmes to turn Malaysia into a high-income and developed nation by 2020 with the participants, on Saturday and Sunday.
“Malaysia’s presence during the dialogue will show our commitment to addressing international issues, especially issues that are of importance to the African continent,” said Ismail.
He said Malaysia would also showcase its technology, products and services in the agriculture, ICT and energy sectors in an exhibition on the sidelines of the dialogue, at the same venue.
“The African countries have high regard for Malaysia when it comes to development, as Malaysia’s per capita income has reached about US$10,000 while their per capita income is still around USD 1,500 although they gained independence at almost the same time as Malaysia did.
“They hope this region’s development could leapfrog with some technological advancement,” said Ismail.
The Global Smart Partnership Dialogue was launched in 1995 when Malaysia hosted the first Langkawi International Dialogue (LID).
The dialogue serves as a platform for smart partners including heads of government, business leaders, scientists and academicians to meet and discuss ideas and experiences related to Science, Technology and Innovation.
However, he said, there was remarkable improvement of trade between Malaysia and three eastern African countries, namely Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya, with trade with Uganda doubled and with Kenya seeing an increase of 20 to 30 per cent last year.
Ismail said Malaysian investment banks could play a more active role in facilitating trade and investment by Malaysian companies in this region.
He said education, tourism and agriculture were sectors that Malaysian investors could venture into, including through partnership.