KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 17 — The longstanding relationship between the United Kingdom (UK) and Malaysia is a strong foundation for greater bilateral growth, said British High Commissioner to Malaysia Charles Hay.

He said bilateral trade between the UK and Malaysia has increased 10 per cent to £5 billion and “we look forward to growing this even further.”

“The UK will continue to support Malaysia in its reform agenda through the sharing of British expertise and experience.

“On the defence front, we remain committed to the Five-Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) which the UK and Malaysia are part of,” he said in a statement here today on the outlook of UK’s relationship with Malaysia following the UK General Election on Dec 12.

Hay said that the common goal shared by the UK and Malaysia in tackling climate change and plastic waste is a unique opportunity to work together to address these global problems, ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP26) which the UK will co-host with Italy in 2020.

He further said that the warm London-Kuala Lumpur relationship is evident in the two-way engagement at the highest level.

“Just last week, HM The Agong (Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah) visited the UK and met HM Queen Elizabeth II. Prime Minister Tun Mahathir (Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad) also made working visits to the UK twice this year. Meanwhile, HRH Prince Edward The Earl of Wessex; Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt; Peter Estlin, Lord Mayor of the City of London; as well as Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury were among high-level visitors who visited Malaysia in the last 12 months,” he said.

The people-to-people relationship is also reflected in the 19,000 Malaysian students currently studying in the UK and another 80,000 individuals studying for a UK qualification in Malaysia. An estimated 18,500 British nationals are living in Malaysia and approximately 360,000 British tourists visited Malaysia in 2018.

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