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Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah also called on his Argentine counterpart Jorge Marcelo Faurie and later held a Bilateral Consultation with the delegations from both sides. Pic by NSTP/ MUHD ASYRAF SAWAL

PUTRAJAYA: Argentina has reaffirmed its interest in moving forward with the reopening of the Malaysian beef market, bearing in mind the requirement to comply with the Halal certification.

This was stated in a joint statement issued in conjunction with Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah's working visit to Argentina from March 18 to 19.

Saifuddin also called on his Argentine counterpart Jorge Marcelo Faurie and later held a Bilateral Consultation with the delegations from both sides.

"Argentina ratified its will to work jointly on agro-industrial matters, especially the area of Biotechnology.

"Both sides expressed their satisfaction on the planned investment of US$2.3 billion in the next four years from the Malaysian oil company, Petronas, together with Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales (YPF) from Argentina for shale oil production in Vaca Muerta, that was announced last December.

"Both sides welcomed the interest of Argentine company IMARTEK in Malaysia, producing turbines for hydroelectrical dams," the statement added.

The ministers also agreed to support existing investments in both countries and welcome more investment opportunities for both countries.

On bilateral technical cooperation, both ministers were upbeat as the two countries boost cooperation in various areas of mutual interest including agribusiness and forensic science as well in deepening political, economic and people-to-people relations.

Faurie had even expressed appreciation for the fellowships granted by Malaysia on Technical Cooperation.

Both ministers discussed subjects of common interest of the bilateral, regional and multilateral agendas.

It was observed with satisfaction that bilateral trade in 2018 amounted to U$D1.3 billion and that numerous opportunities exist for its expansion.

They agreed on the excellent state of the bilateral relationship and expressed their will to enhance it, as more needs to be done.

"They expressed hope to finalise pending negotiations on science and technology, agriculture, and cooperation in the field of training for diplomats, and to advance negotiations on education and cooperation in the transfer of sentenced persons and in the enforcement of penal sentences."

The Argentine Foreign Minister expressed his appreciation for Malaysia's support to the accession of Argentina to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), that gives emphasis to the common interest in increasing economic and commercial relations with this regional association, as well as the support given to the Argentine candidature for World Expo 2023, in Buenos Aires.

Both Ministers concurred that as middle income democracies with open economies, Argentina and Malaysia, shall strive to work together in the international fora on issues of common interest.

Both countries also underlined their commitment to multilateralism and the role of the United Nations in the maintenance of peace, international security and the promotion of economic and social development.

They emphasised the importance of a multilateral trading system based on rules, open, transparent, inclusive, non-discriminatory and equitable, and recognized the need to adapt the World Trade Organisation to present and future challenges.

Both Foreign Ministers exchanged Notes on the establishment of a Bilateral Consultation mechanism as an instrument aimed at promoting the development and strengthening of relations between the two countries.

Saifuddin will also participate at the Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation (BAPA + 40 Conference), in Buenos Aires and will meet President Mauricio Macri to affirm the warm regards of Malaysia to Argentina.

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