Pakistan To Sign $900M Deals With Malaysia Covering Agriculture And Tech Sectors

Mahathir bin Mohamad
New Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad speaks during a news conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, May 11, 2018. (Photo: REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha/File Photo)

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has arrived in Pakistan for a three-day state visit and Pakistan officials expressed high hopes for deals that will be settled with the popular Malay leader. The Pakistani government said Malaysia is its gateway towards penetrating the massive ASEAN market.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan's adviser of Commerce, Abdul Razzak Dawood said Friday will mark strengthened ties between the two countries as the sides will sign around $900 million worth of deals covering various tech sectors and agriculture, Pakistan Today reported.

"We believe Malaysia will be an opening for us to the ASEAN," Dawood said. The Pakistan-Malaysia deal is expected to cover non-tech sectors including agriculture, halal food, textile, and power generation. In the massive technology industry, the Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) will include telecom services and information tech.

A statement from the Foreign Office reportedly stated that part of the agreement is a one-on-one meeting between the two country leaders and delegation meetings to further discuss the deals. One session of round-table talks between delegations from both sides will also be held in front of the Mahathir and Khan.

Ahead of the highly-anticipated delegation talks, it was revealed that five MoUs will be signed between the parties that involve company leaders from Malaysia and Pakistan. Mahathir is also expected to grace the Pakistan Day 2019 parade on Saturday, The Malay Mail reported. The event will be held at the Shakarparian parade grounds with the Malay chief as its guest of honor.

Mahathir will also be paying a courtesy call on President Arif Alvi at the Aiwan-e-Sadr Presidential Palace. The Malaysian PM will then be given the Nishan-e-Pakistan award, the highest civilian honor award the country has to offer.

As part of the last stretch of his state visit, Mahathir will attend the groundbreaking ceremonies of a Proton manufacturing plant in Sindh province. The groundbreaking is part of an agreement signed between Malaysia's Proton and a Pakistani partner last year. The facility will be the carmaker's first in South Asia.

Analysts believe the enhanced ties between Malaysia and Pakistan will help improve the latter's export activities. Since August, Khan has been reaching out to other nations in a bid to shore up foreign investments and financial deposits.

Abu Dhabi and Riyadh may have already started depositing $6 billion in loans over the past months, recent reports indicated. China, on the other hand, is expected to dish out over $2 billion to the Pakistani market within the next few days. It is worth noting that Beijing has recorded over $19 million in investments in Pakistan under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

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