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PRIME Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob will embark on a four-day official visit to Türkiye tomorrow to strengthen bilateral and economic ties, as well as co-operation in aerospace and defence, according to Malaysia’s Ambassador to Türkiye Sazali Mustafa Kamal.
He said that during the visit, at the invitation of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the leaders are also expected to talk about post-pandemic co-operation.
“The inaugural meeting of the two Islamic country leaders will definitely open more opportunities for co-operation.
“The leaders are also expected to discuss issues concerning Ukraine and food security,” he told a press conference with Malaysian journalists in Istanbul today.
The prime minister is scheduled to meet the Turkish President at the Presidential Complex in Ankara on Thursday, followed by a delegation meeting between Malaysia and Türkiye.
Upon his arrival at Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport, the prime minister will be given a briefing on the airport owned and managed by Malaysia Airports.
The airport, one of two international airports serving Istanbul, is in the Asian part of the bi-continental Istanbul and is named after Sabiha Gökçen, the first female fighter pilot in the world.
“MAHB has invested about €500 million (RM2.3 billion) in the airport and is looking at more such projects in the country,” he said.
Following which, the prime minister will host a luncheon for Malaysian expats, before holding meetings with Turkish business communities, the ambassador said, adding that about 15 MOUs and letters of intent are expected to be signed during the visit.
Sazali said Türkiye is the third biggest trade partner in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia and UAE, with total trade between the two countries recorded at RM17 billion in 2021, and projects implemented valued at RM445 million.
In 2021, Malaysia exported more than US$1.06 billion (RM4.67 billion) worth of palm oil and palm oil products to support the growing demand, particularly in the Turkish food industry, as well as the home and personal care industry.
Sazali said that on Wednesday, the prime minister will travel to the capital Ankara, where he is scheduled to visit the country’s two major players in defence and aerospace, respectively: MKE Corporation and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI).
Meanwhile, he said the opening of borders is also expected to revive the tourism industries after the Covid-19 pandemic, adding that 107,000 Malaysians visited the country in 2019, while 15,000 Turkish tourists went to Malaysia.