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13 October 2012 – The Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur said today that preparations are all set for the visit of Malaysian Prime Minister Dato' Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak to the country as he undertakes an Official Visit on October 15 on the occasion of the signing of the Framework Agreement between the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

"The Philippine Government and the Filipino people are eagerly awaiting to welcome Prime Minister Najib as he arrives at our shores to witness the signing of the Framework Agreement. His visit is expected to further scale up Philippines-Malaysia relations, which is experiencing a renaissance these days. We are ready to show him and his delegation the world-famous warm Filipino hospitality," said Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia J. Eduardo Malaya said. Ambassador Malaya is already in Manila since Thursday to assist in the preparations for the visit.

Upon the invitation of President Benigno S. Aquino III, Prime Minister Najib will be present during the signing ceremony on Monday at the Malacanan presidential complex. This is (Dato' Sri Najib's) first visit to the Philippines as Prime Minister.

Malaysia has served as facilitator of the peace talks since 2001.

Other international dignitaries are expected to attend the signing ceremonies, including the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

'The successful talks herald a bright, new dawn for all Filipinos - Muslims, Lumad indigenous people, Christians and all others who comprise the Filipino nation. There is a celebratory mood in the entire country, notably in Mindanao,' Ambassador Malaya said.

During his Official Visit, Prime Minister Najib is expected to have a bilateral meeting with President Aquino and also interact with leading Philippine CEOs under the auspices of the Philippines-Malaysia Business Council and the Makati Business Club.

Expected to join the Prime Minister and his wife, Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor, during their visit to the Philippines are Malaysian government officials and a business delegation led by AlloyMTD Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dato Azmil Khalid, who is the pro-tempore chair of the Kuala-Lumpur based Malaysia-Philippines Business Council (MPBC).

"The Prime Minister's visit will allow us to reciprocate the warm welcome that the Malaysian Government and people accorded to Vice President Jejomar Binay, when he visited Malaysia last May. We hope that the gains from these visits would further grow and deepen our two countries' partnership,' Ambassador Malaya added.

Vice President Binay was in Kuala Lumpur for the Philippines-Malaysia Investment Partnership Forum, where he was guest of honor and keynote speaker. During that visit, he had talks with Prime Minister Najib, former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad, Malaysian Foreign Minister Dato' Sri Anifah bin Haji Aman and Malaysian International Trade and Industry Minister Dato Mustapa bin Mohamed.

He was also hosted for lunch by the newly-revived MPBC, which held its first meeting during the said event, as well as had interactions with the Scouts Association of Malaysia and the members of the Filipino community.

The Philippines and Malaysia are experiencing a renaissance in bilateral relations, including in the economic and cultural spheres

In 2011, Malaysia was the Philippines' ninth largest trading partner, with total trade amounting to US$3.7 billion; it is the Philippines' 11th largest export market, valued at US$1.098 billion; and the eight largest import market valued at US$2.635 billion. Malaysia is the Philippines' 11th major tourist market, with 91,752 Malaysian tourists visiting the Philippines in 2011; on the other hand, 362,101 Filipinos visited Malaysia in the same year. Malaysian investments in the Philippines reached US$203.03 million over the last six years (2005 to 2010).

In August 2011, Petron Corporation, a leading Philippine energy company, bought Exxon Mobil Corporation's 65 percent stake in Esso Malaysia Berhad for US$610 million, which includes an oil refinery and some 558 gasoline stations.

On the other hand, Malaysia is one of the Philippines' sources of foreign direct investments (FDI). FDI from Malaysia is spread into construction, finance, real estate, manufacturing, mining, private services, trade, and transportation. The more prominent Malaysian companies operating in the Philippines are Resorts World Hotel, Shangri-La Hotels, the Malayan Banking Corporation (Maybank), and AlloyMTD Bhd, which upgraded the South Luzon Expressway. In 2010, Malaysian investments amounted to US$16.71 million (Php 753.8 million). Most recently, CIMB purchased a 60-percent stake in the Philippine Bank of Commerce, worth around RM1 billion (P196 billion).

Malaysia has also recently seen for itself the immense talent and virtuosity of Filipino choral groups. In July, the Philippine Madrigal Singers graced Kuala Lumpur in a two-night concert and a command performance at the Embassy, where Malaysian Tourism Minister Dato Sri' Dr. Ng Yen Yen was Guest of Honor.

This October and in a 'celebration of peace', the Embassy brings to Malaysia the world-renowned, multi-awarded University of the Philippines Concert Chorus. They will perform in by-invitations events at the Panggung Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (Kuala Lumpur Cultural Center) on October 23 in partnership with the Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (Office of the Kuala Lumpur City Mayor), and at the Universiti Malaya's Experimental Theatre on October 24, in partnership with the University's Cultural Center.

The group will then proceed to Kuching, Sarawak for a performance on October 25, in cooperation with the Rotary Club of Kuching and the Filipino community there. END