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Speech

1. At the invitation of the Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Honourable Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, paid an Official Visit to Jamaica from 2 to 3 May 2006.
2. The visit served to strengthen bilateral relations between Jamaica and Malaysia and in particular, to further the development of an economically strategic partnership through the fostering of trade and investments and the promotion of technical cooperation.
3. The Honourable Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Abdullah was accompanied by The Honourable Dato’ Seri S. Samy Vellu, Minister of Public Works, The Honourable Dato’ Mustapa Mohamed, Minister of Higher Education, The Honourable Datuk Azalina Othman Said, Minister of Youth and Sports and The Honourable Dato’ Joseph Salang, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs as well as senior officials of the Malaysian Government, and Members of the Malaysian media.
4. During the visit, the Prime Minister of Malaysia engaged in a bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister of Jamaica Honourable Portia Simpson Miller and Ministers and senior officials from the Jamaican government. Prime Minister Abdullah will also make a courtesy call on His Excellency The Most Honourable Kenneth O. Hall, Governor General of Jamaica and will meet with Mr. Bruce Golding, Leader of the Opposition. The Honourable Prime Minister of Malaysia will also address members of the Jamaican private sector during a luncheon hosted by the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica and will tour the Highway 2000 Millennium Project.
5. Prime Minister Simpson Miller and Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral, regional and international issues of common interest in a sincere and friendly atmosphere and reached broad consensus. They also exchanged views and information on the current political, economic and social situations in their respective countries, as well as on their national development plans and strategies.
6. The two Prime Ministers were satisfied with the progress of bilateral relations and reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening the existing cordial relations through the exchange of visits and cooperation in economic, technological, scientific, construction, information and communications technology, shipping, tourism, educational, social, and cultural fields.
7. Both Prime Ministers noted that the relationship between Jamaica and Malaysia was underpinned by a strong adherence to democratic values, multilateralism and South-South cooperation, which had resulted in close cooperation at both the bilateral and multilateral levels, particularly within the context of the United Nations, Commonwealth, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Group of 77 and China as well as the Group of 15.
8. The two Prime Ministers recalled with satisfaction that Jamaica and Malaysia had collaborated successfully in recent years in the area of infrastructure development, which was an outstanding example of meaningful South-South Cooperation. In this regard, Prime Minister Simpson Miller reiterated Jamaica’s appreciation for the technical assistance the Malaysian Government had provided for the Highway 2000 Millennium Project.
9. In the field of trade and investment between Jamaica and Malaysia, the two Prime Ministers agreed on measures to be taken to promote business opportunities, bilateral trade and investment. They also emphasized the need for the private sectors of both countries to work together to improve trade and investment opportunities between the two countries. The Malaysian private sector was encouraged to invest in Jamaica’s infrastructure, construction and housing sectors. In light of the expansion programmes being pursued by their respective port authorities, it was agreed that areas for possible cooperation between the Port Authority of Jamaica and the Port Klang Authority of Malaysia should be explored.
10. Both Prime Ministers expressed concern at the negative impact of the rising energy costs on their economic development and concurred on the need to diversify their energy resources. In this context, they agreed to explore possible areas of cooperation in the energy sector.
11. The two Prime Ministers also agreed to expand exchanges and cooperation in the fields of education, information and communications technology, public health, bio-technology and agriculture. On cooperation in education, they agreed to expedite the conclusion of a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Education. In the field of agriculture, they agreed that Jamaica could benefit from collaboration with Malaysia in the area of coconut growing, specifically in relation to combating the lethal yellowing disease of the coconut trees. Malaysia took note of Jamaica’s request for the supply of seedlings for its coconut replanting and rehabilitation programme. Jamaica also expressed interest in receiving technical assistance in the cultivation of palm oil to be used in the development of an edible oil agro-processing plant.
12. In the field of sports, the two Prime Ministers noted that Malaysia has excelled in badminton and Jamaica has excelled in athletics and netball, both regionally and internationally. They shared the view that sports can contribute significantly in strengthening national harmony and unity, instilling patriotism and developing a disciplined society. To this end, they agreed to expedite the conclusion of a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Sports.
13. In recognition of the need for joint and coordinated actions to combat the spread of infectious diseases, the two Prime Ministers agreed to exchange information in dealing with the Avian Flu.
14. On regional matters, the two Prime Ministers exchanged views on recent developments in their respective regions, including the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).
15. With regard to Haiti, Prime Minister Simpson Miller updated Prime Minister Abdullah on CARICOM’s continued involvement in the process of restoring political stability and socio-economic building institutional capacity in that country. She noted that the outcome of the recent Presidential and Congressional elections in Haiti was a critical step in the return of democratic rule to the country. Prime Minister Simpson Miller informed Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi that she would be working alongside her colleague Heads of Government in CARICOM to pave the way for Haiti’s readmission into the Councils of CARICOM. The Jamaican Prime Minister also stressed the need for international donors to continue to provide financial support to Haiti, in order to support the process of economic reconstruction and national and social development.
16. Prime Minister Simpson Miller gave an overview on the progress being made towards the full implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) and informed that Jamaica was one of the six countries that have now acceded to and introduced the Single Market aspect of the CSME. She highlighted the tremendous benefits which the CSME would have for the expansion of intra-regional trade and the creation of new opportunities for pan-CARICOM investments and regional economic integration. Against this background, she noted that Malaysian firms could be encouraged to take advantage of the enlarged market and improved framework for doing business within the CSME.
17. Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi briefed Prime Minister Simpson Miller on recent developments in Southeast Asia and the various ASEAN Plans of Action and Protocols that will move ASEAN closer towards its goal of building an ASEAN Community, characterised by greater political and security interaction and engagement, a single market and production base, with free flow of goods, services, investment, skilled labour and free flow of capital and a more caring and sharing society, focusing on social development, education and human resource development, public health, culture and information and environmental protection.
18. Both Prime Ministers reiterated their commitment to the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), noting the important role of the Movement as a major forum for consultation and coordination of positions on crucial political and economic issues and cooperation among developing countries.
19. Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi exchanged views with Prime Minister Simpson Miller on the upcoming Ministerial Meeting of the Coordination Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM CoB), which would be held in Malaysia from 27 to 30 May 2006. Prime Minister Simpson Miller confirmed Jamaica’s participation in the NAM CoB as well as XIV NAM Summit which Cuba will be hosting in Havana in September, 2006.
20. Prime Minister Simpson Miller commended Malaysia for its excellent Chairmanship of the NAM over the past three years, as well as for its leadership in revitalising the Movement and enhancing cooperation among its members within the framework of the mandates and decisions adopted in the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on Continuing the Revitalisation of the Non-Aligned Movement. She applauded the initiatives Malaysia had undertaken including the convening of the Conference of Ministers of Information of NAM (COMINAC) held in Kuala Lumpur on 19-22 November 2005, and the groundbreaking initiative in hosting the first ever Ministerial Meeting of the NAM on the Advancement of Women on 7-10 May, 2005. She also welcomed Malaysia’s proposal for the establishment of a NAM Centre on Gender and Development.
21. The two Prime Ministers exchanged views on the opportunities and challenges posed by the process of globalisation and in particular the negative impact on developing countries. They noted the growing inequities in the international trading systems, as well as the need for greater dialogue and joint actions in rectifying the inherent asymmetries of power in the international economic system. They recognised the role of the G-15 in the coordination and promotion of the interests of developing countries.
22. Both Prime Ministers expressed their continued commitment to an open, fair and rules-based multilateral trading system which would contribute to raising the living standards of the global community and in particular, the peoples of the developing world. In this respect, they pledged their continued support to ongoing efforts by developing countries to fully integrate into the global economy. Both Prime Ministers noted the failure in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to meet the deadline for establishing modalities which was set at the Hong Kong WTO Ministerial Meeting. They would continue to work with other developing countries to achieve a beneficial outcome to the negotiations as well as to ensure that equitable development remains a central element the Doha Development Agenda.
23. The two Prime Ministers underlined the commitment of both their governments to defend and strengthen multilateralism, and acknowledged that the United Nations system played a central role in the maintenance of international peace and security and in the promotion of economic and social development in a sustainable way. Thus, they reaffirmed the common position of both countries to engage their best efforts in improving and widening the democratisation of the multilateral system.
24. In expressing their support for the development agenda and reaffirming their commitment to achieve global security, they noted that development and security were inextricably linked. They also underscored the need for the promotion of dialogue between cultures and civilizations for a peaceful and safe global community.
25. Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the warm welcome and generous hospitality extended to him and the members of his delegation by the Government and people of Jamaica.