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August 30, 2007
Malaysia-Thai relationship at all time high: Syed Hamid

Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar said Wednesday bilaterial ties between Malaysia and Thailand are at an all time high as they celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties.

He said the frequent meetings between leaders, especially Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his Thai counterpart Surayud Chulanont clearly demonstrate the effective networking between them.

"Being close neighbours, we have to live with each other and most importantly not be at odds with each other. Whatever happens in Malaysia or in Thailand will have ramifications on both sides," he said in his keynote address at the Malaysia-Thailand Business Forum here.

The forum with the theme "Building on Neighbourly Partnerships: Sharing Growth and Prosperity," was jointly organised by the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (Asli) and the Sofitel Centara Grand Hotel in conjunction with Malaysia's 50th Merdeka celebration.

He said bilaterial trade stood at US$15.1 billion in 2006 while Malaysia's investment in Thailand stood at US$177.7 million last year.

"Today, Malaysia and Thailand are one of the world's leading players in the global commodities market.

Through our collaboration, we control 70 percent of the world's output of rubber," he added.

Syed Hamid said as close neighbours, both managed to deal with problems and issues with wisdom, adding that they were committed to maintaining regional peace and security.

The Malaysia-Thailand Joint Area, the Joint Development Strategy and the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) were all geared towards expanding the economic cake and sharing the growth and prosperity.

He said business and investment linkages have long been a means for Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur to forge a win-win partnership, adding that it would remain intact despite recent changes in the Thai political and
economic climate.

Later at a press conference, Syed Hamid said he was pleased that the military junta which ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in a coup last year has kept to its pledge to hold election by year end. Bernama reports

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