Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak on July 29 held talks with visiting French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault in Putrajaya to further strengthen economic relations between the two countries.

During the meeting, the two sides expressed their wishes to expand joint venture into new areas of cooperation, particularly in renewable energy, transportation and bio-technology.

Speaking at the joint press conference after the talks, Prime Minister Najib said apart from the cooperation that was discussed during the talks, both sides were also keen to deepen and strengthen current economic relations, particularly in trade and investment, defence and education.

He referred to two significant investments -- the France-invested project worth 125 million USD to build a Sendayan-located facility for production of aircraft brakes for the entire Asian market and a biotech investment in Terengganu between Arkema of France and CJ CheilJedang (CJ) of the Republic of Korea.

At the talks, the two sides also dealt with the defence cooperation, taking into account that the defence ministers from both countries would meet in December, to discuss more substantive issues.

He said the French PM also affirmed that deep understanding and partnership will continue, basically in defence. The two PMs also discussed regional and international issues, the role in some of the development in other parts of the world, with respect to the economic situation.

For his part, PM Ayrault said Malaysia was France’s second largest economic partner in ASEAN. There, some 260 French companies are operating, ready to support all the projects to turn Malaysia to be a fully developed country by 2020.

He said his current Malaysia visit also sought for new opportunities for French small and medium entrepreneurs to come and explore various possibilities in Malaysia, particularly in infrastructure, information and communication and city sustainability.

Earlier, the two PMs witnessed the signing for three Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) covering cooperation in railway industry, defence and security, and aviation and aerospace technology.-VNA