PUTRAJAYA, Feb 27 — Australia’s Foreign Minister Penny Wong will undertake a two-day working visit to Malaysia beginning on Monday, to advance the bilateral relations and to promote Australia’s interests in a peaceful, stable, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.
She will be hosted by Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Zambry Abd Kadir, where during the visit both Ministers will exchange views on various issues of mutual concern, including Asean, Myanmar and the trilateral security pact involving Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States (Aukus).
Wong is also scheduled to pay a courtesy call to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and meet with Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli as well as attend private programmes arranged by the Australian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, a statement from Malaysia’s Foreign Ministry said.
The visit signifies a firm commitment by both countries to further strengthen ties and would further augment existing collaborations under the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP).
Both sides have deep cooperation in various sectors, including defence, science and technology, education, counter-terrorism, trade and investments, among others, the statement read.
In 2023, Australia is scheduled to host the second Annual Leaders’ Meeting (ALM) and the 5th Annual Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AFMM) under the ambit of CSP.
The total trade between the two countries in 2022 increased significantly by 55.4 per cent to RM88.65 billion (US$20.05 billion), making Australia the 10th largest trading partner globally for Malaysia.
Wong in a media release said her visit to Malaysia will reaffirm the shared priorities under CSP.
“I look forward to holding introductory meetings with members of the new Malaysian Government, including the Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Economy.
“These meetings will focus on advancing our significant trade and economic links, cooperation on defence and regional security, and the close ties between our peoples,” she said.
Wong said Australia is committed to working with Malaysia to support Asean’s vital contribution to regional peace and security.
From Malaysia, the minister will travel to India where she will meet with her counterparts at the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in New Delhi.
Australia strongly supports India’s G20 Presidency and welcomes India’s ambitious, action-oriented G20 agenda, under the theme One Earth, One Family, One Future, Wong said.
This year is an important milestone in Australia’s bilateral relationship with India with many high-level Ministerial visits between our two countries.
“I look forward to working with my counterparts on how we can address contemporary international challenges, including strengthening the multilateral system, food and energy security, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief,” she said.
While in New Delhi, Wong will attend the 2023 Raisina Dialogue, India’s premier forum for addressing the most challenging issues facing our regional and global community.