There are many areas where New Zealand and Malaysia can work together, especially in the field of public services delivery through the use of advanced information communication technology (ICT), stated New Zealand’s Finance Minister, as noted in a recent report.
With both new governments eager on pushing good governance and transparency, it makes perfect sense that two of the nation’s most metropolitan cities, Wellington and Putrajaya, should work together on improving the delivery of public services to the people, he said.
The minister, who had earlier visited a New Zealand ICT company that has been in Malaysia for some 20 years, said his country was keen on ensuring that government services were working for their people and had been working on developing its ICT based citizen-centric services.
“As we move towards new technology and how it is being used by businesses, there are really a lot of areas (which NZ and Malaysia can work together on) as we are quite complementary with each other,” Robertson told Bernama after a briefing on New Zealand’s economic outlook at the New Zealand Official Residence here Monday (Oct 15).
He said both countries could also cooperate in the areas of green technology and climate change, which are particularly important for a small country like New Zealand which has a population of only 4.8 million.
Robertson said that the New Zealand government also welcomes any foreign direct investments (FDIs) from Malaysia into its agriculture and services sector, with the view of increasing its productivity, which ranked low among Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.
On his meeting with his Malaysian counterpart, The NZ minister said both of them discussed strengthening ties between the two countries. New Zealand and Malaysia established diplomatic relations more than 60 years ago on 25 September 1957.
Robertson said both of them talked about improving bilateral trade that currently stands at RMB10 billion (NZ$3.5 billion). New Zealand’s major exports to Malaysia include milk powder, butter, malt and dairy products, while its imports are crude petroleum oil, oil cake, and electronics.
The NZ minister noted that his country particularly agreed that once the Malaysian minister completes his Budget 2019, the two can talk again about how they can work on developing those opportunities. It was added that New Zealand was a huge producer of food products.
The New Zealand minister who arrived in Malaysia 13 October 2018, left later Monday to attend the Apec Finance Ministers’ Meeting and Related Meetings with Abac Dialogue in Papua New Guinea.
During his visit to Malaysia the New Zealand minister also met Malaysia’s Economic Affairs Minister and the country’s Youth and Sports Minister in his capacity as New Zealand’s Sport and Recreation Minister.
According to the Malaysian government’s website, Malaysia and New Zealand commenced negotiations on the bilateral Free Trade Agreement in May 2005. The Malaysia-New Zealand FTA (MNZFTA) negotiations were concluded on 30 May 2009 at the 10th round of negotiations in Kuala Lumpur.
The Agreement was signed by both Ministers of Trade on 26 October 2009 in Kuala Lumpur. MNZFTA entered into force on 1 August 2010.
One of the objectives of this Agreement was to establish a framework to enhance socio-economic cooperation, by way of exchange of information, skills and technology in fields as agreed in this Agreement.
Moreover, Each Party committed itself to the maintenance of transparent intellectual property rights regimes and systems that would facilitate international trade through the dissemination of ideas, technology and creative works.