Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman on February 17 held talks with his Australian counterpart Julie Bishop in Putrajaya to discuss the progress of the on-going bilateral cooperation between the two countries, Bernama reported.

The two ministers also touched upon other topics, including Australia 's new government foreign policy which will focus on economic diplomacy and public diplomacy via its flagship initiative, the new Colombo Plan.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Australian Foreign Minister Bishop the same day, Minister Anifah said Malaysia will enhance various opportunities in business and investment with Australia after the enforcement of the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement (MAFTA) on January 1, last year.

He said he welcomes more Australian trade missions to explore and seek the wealth of investment opportunities in Malaysia . The country's potential areas are finance, insurance, telecommunication and manufacturing industry.

On education, Anifah said it continues to be an integral part of Malaysia-Australia bilateral relations, and there are currently more than 13,000 Malaysian students pursuing higher education in Australia .

" Malaysia looks forward to encouraging more Australian students and researchers to study and do their research in Malaysia ," he said.

On her part, Minister Bishop said Australia will continue to cooperate with Malaysia in tackling the issue of human trafficking and finding ways to stop the illegal activity.

She congratulated Malaysia as it will chair the ASEAN Summit in 2015, and said that ASEAN has played an important role in the region to overcome various issues such as the sovereignty disputes in the East Sea and other regional and international issues.

The Australian FM paid a two-day official visit to Malaysia on February 16-17.-VNA