PM: Five-year multiple entry visa available for Aussie investors

07 Sep 2014 / 10:11 H.

PUTRAJAYA: Australian business visitors, foreign fund managers and investors can apply for a five-year multiple entry visa from December this year, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak.
Najib said that he had informed Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott of this during his one day visit to Malaysia today.
"Malaysia recognizes freer mobility of business visitors, investors and skilled professionals as the key ingredient to successful business relationships. I have informed Prime Minister Abbott that business visitors, foreign fund managers and investors can apply for a five-year multiple entry visa from December this year," he said to the media after the closed door meeting between Abbott, himself and the MH370 and MH17 team in the Prime Minister's office in Putrajaya.
The Prime Minister acknowledged that Australia has been an important and a key economic partner in Malaysia and is one of the country's top 10 trading partners for years.
"In 2013, Australia was Malaysia's 9th largest trading partner. Two-way goods and services trade was valued at RM61.9 billion in 2013, a hike from RM46.2 billion in 2010. This represents a 14.7% increase over three years," he said.
He added that in 2013, Australia's total investment in Malaysia was RM28.9 billion, while Malaysia's investment in Australia was RM50.9 billion.
Both Najib and Abbot expressed their pleasure in the long-standing friendship between Australia and Malaysia and the current state of Malaysia-Australia bilateral relations
"This is characterized by long standing. And substantive cooperation in the areas of trade and investment, education, defence and security. Our people to people links are broad and deep - fortified by the active exchanges of visits and cultural exchange programs organized," Najib added.
Najib said that education is an invaluable asset in the bilateral relations, where Australia is a popular destination for Malaysian students in pursuing tertiary education and Malaysia has three branch campuses of Australian universities, namely, Curtin University Sarawak, Swinburne University of Technology in Sarawak and Monash University Malaysia in Selangor.
Defence was mentioned as another pillar in the Australia - Malaysia bilateral relationship.
Najib also announced that Malaysia has formally accepted Australia's invitation to participate in its New Colombo Plan initiative which would commence next year.
"The New Colombo Plan will see interested Australian undergraduates coming to Malaysia for a 1-2 semesters' studies in local universities as well as mobility programs like internships in Malaysia," Najib said.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said he believes in the strength and optimism in the friendship between Malaysia and Australia.
"From time to time, there has been ups and downs in the political relationship, but the relationship has been growing stronger. Some 300,000 Malaysians have been educated in Australia. In any one year, about 20,000 Malaysians are studying in Australia and 20,000 Malaysians are studying here in Australian institutions," Abbott said.
"This is going to be a two-way street in the future with the launch of the New Colombo Plan next year. Malaysia as a tolerant, prosperous, multicultural Muslim country and society has much to teach not just Australia, but the whole world," he said.
He also said that he is glad that Malaysians find Australia a safe and trustworthy country to invest in, and the story between Australia and Malaysia is a good one.
"I can't think of a better colleague and friend, as our two countries advance to the future," he said.

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