The partnership between Malaysia and the Philippines is set to expand, particularly in the halal industry, where both countries are keen to take effective measures to penetrate international markets, particularly in the Middle East.
The two countries, which will be celebrating 60 years of diplomatic relations next year, have also agreed to intensify efforts to increase trade and investment volume.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the expansion of partnership and boosting of trade relations would bring tremendous benefit to the people.
“Furthering the discussion on economic cooperation, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr and I also deliberated on avenues to leverage the vast potential of the halal industry, including Islamic finance, to serve as a cornerstone of Malaysia-Philippines economic relations,” he said.
Addressing the media after a meeting with Marcos, who is in Malaysia for a three-day visit, the Prime Minister also reiterated Malaysia’s willingness to share its experience and expertise on halal certification.
“We will task the relevant authorities to continue their engagement to expedite the process of signing cooperation documents,” he added.
On Asean, Anwar said Marcos and him agreed on the importance of upholding Asean Centrality, and would continue to work closely together to address various challenges posed by the ever-changing geopolitical and socioeconomic calculus.
“I wish to express my appreciation for our long-standing partnership throughout the years.
“Malaysia and the Philippines have collaborated in various fields of common interest while seeking new areas of future cooperation,” he said.
Meanwhile, Marcos said both governments were committed to coordinate efforts to build capacity in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, especially in sectors such as the halal industry, Islamic banking, and food security.
“Malaysia has offered their expertise to train Filipino personnel and officials to strengthen our capabilities in these increasingly important sectors,” he said, adding that Anwar and him agreed to enhance bilateral trade and investment ties.
“With Malaysia being one of the leading halal economies in the world, cooperation in this sector would mutually benefit the growth of our respective halal ecosystems,” he added.