VIENTIANE (June 27): Laos is interested in forging cooperation with Malaysia through the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) to obtain halal certification for its products, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said.
He said this was conveyed to him by his Laotian counterpart Dr Sonexay Siphandone during their bilateral meeting at Laos’ Prime Minister’s Office here, earlier today.
“The halal certification process will be facilitated by Jakim and he (Siphandone) has shown great interest and would ask his officers to collaborate with Jakim to develop the halal industry in Laos,” he told the Malaysian media at the end of his two-day visit to Laos.
Earlier, the two leaders also witnessed the exchange of two memoranda of cooperation, a memorandum of understanding and a letter of intent involving Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB), Mutiara Perlis Sdn Bhd (MPSB), Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) and Laotian companies.
The cooperation between TNB and Electricite du Lao (EDL) to explore the hydroelectric potential in Laos is expected to provide returns of RM460 million to RM2.3 billion per year to TNB starting in 2025.
Anwar said his Laotian counterpart has also assured continued support for projects involving Malaysian companies in Laos.
“Despite its short duration, the visit to Laos is indeed a fruitful trip as it provided me the opportunity to meet with the President (Dr Thongloun Sisoulith) and express gratitude for the cooperation on the hydro projects cooperation.
“Prime Minister Siphandone has also given good cooperation to bring the trade and bilateral ties between the two countries to greater heights,” he said.
The Don Sahong Hydropower Project in southern Laos is the largest contributor to Malaysia’s foreign direct investment (FDI) in Laos, amounting to over US$400 million (RM1.8 billion).
Anwar’s visit was the first by a Malaysian leader since 2016. Malaysia and Laos have established diplomatic relations since July 1, 1966. — Bernama