Ship of Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (Source: mmea.gov.my)

Kuala Lumpur (VNA) – Malaysia and Sri Lanka have agreed to intensify cooperation in monitoring the waters between the two countries, said Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail on August 30.

Wan Azizah stated that this was among the topics discussed between her and visiting Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka Tilak Marapana on August 27 in Putrajaya.

According to her, the Malaysian Government is concerned about the security of its water ways, and is striving for pirate-free waters for the safety of traders.

She stressed that the future development of the region depended much on relationships between countries, such as Malaysia and Sri Lanka.

Therefore, the relationships need to be maintained and strengthened, she added.

For his part, Tilak said Sri Lanka is particularly interested in the Indian Ocean, especially regarding issues of security and movements of ships.

Bilateral trade between Malaysia and Sri Lanka rose by 24.7 percent to 415.5 million USD in the first half of 2018 from 333.1 million USD of the same period last year.

Malaysia’s exports to Sri Lanka include palm oil and palm-based products, chemicals and chemical products, petroleum products, electrical and electronic products, machinery, appliance and parts.

Imports include textiles, clothing and footwear, processed food, natural rubber, rubber products, and chemical products.

There are 47 Malaysian companies currently operating in Sri Lanka with a total investment of over 3 billion USD, mainly in telecommunications, energy, hydro-power, construction, lubricant blending, resort development, and education.-VNA