The leaders of Korea and Malaysia are taking things to the next level by upgrading their cooperation and exchanges.
President Moon Jae-in and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad decided to push for a bilateral Free Trade Agreement with a deadline to sign the deal set before the end of this year when the leaders gather again for the special South Korea-ASEAN Summit in Seoul.
"We have decided to pursue practical and detailed projects so that the people of both countries enjoy the benefits. We have also promised to push for a Korea-Malaysia FTA to create an institutional framework that will help further expand the countries' trade and investment."
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"Next year will be the 60th anniversary of the establishment of relations between Korea and Malaysia. We find that, given the international meetings, our views are very similar to each other."
The upgrade in Korea-Malaysia ties translates into MOUs covering four areas.
As a response to the fast-approaching Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0,… the two sides said yes to doing joint research on IT and to holding regular minister-level business forums.
On transportation, the two allies will promote so-called Intelligent Transport systems on top of the other transit media.
Both Seoul and Kuala Lumpur will also proceed with the ASEAN Smart Cities Network, a collaborative platform for cities in member states to pursue smart and sustainable urban development.
Last year, Korea chose the city of Kota Kinabalu to build its smart city infrastructure,… making Malaysia the first partner country for the network project.
The leaders also called for efforts to develop new joint business opportunities such as combining the growing popularity of the Korean Wave, or Hallyu, with Malaysia's halal industry.
"Another topic of mutual interest -- peace on the Korean Peninsula. President Moon and the Malaysian PM -- who last year had urged the sanctions on the regime to be loosened -- agreed to closely coordinate to help North Korea become part of the international community as well as a partner of the ASEAN states.
Shin Se-min, Arirang News, Kuala Lumpur."