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NEWS ADMIN

Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani

DATE

22/03/2002

NEWS PROVIDER

Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani

NEWS SOURCE

NULL

CATEGORY

HEADLINE

M'sia, Poland Agree To Enhance Trade Ties
WARSAW, March 21 (Bernama) - A special promotion for Malaysian palm oil isto be held in Poland as the two countries agreed Thursday to enhance tradeties.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the promotion was aimedat explaining the use of palm oil not just for cooking but for themanufacture of many food products and detergent.

"I'm told that the Polish people are not very conversant with palm oilwhich is the reason why you do not use as much palm oil as you should," hetold a joint press conference with his Polish counterpart Leszek Millerfollowing their talks here Wednesday.

Dr Mahathir arrived here this morning from Germany as spring is startingin Poland, a country as big as Malaysia but with a bigger population of 39million.

The prime minister is on the last leg of a nine-day, three-nation tourthat began in Russia. During the talks, the two prime ministers agreed onthe need for Malaysia and Poland to improve their trade ties despite thegeographical distance between them.

"Malaysia is a trading nation and we need new markets all the time.Therefore, we would like to improve our trade with Poland," he said. Hesaid two countries should step up their trade directly and not throughthird countries.

He said Malaysia was interested in many areas of manufacturing found inPoland such as steel, aircraft, construction, machinery and railways. Hesaid they also agreed to improve the facility for air travel as there wasgreat scope for increasing tourism.

However, more information on Poland was needed to attract Malaysiantourists to this country, he said. "By giving more information on eachother's product, I think we would be able to improve the trade between ourtwo countries," he said.

Dr Mahathir also said Miller had accepted his invitation to visitMalaysia. Asked if they talked about possible defence purchase, he said,they talked about the possibility of Malaysia acquiring some defencesystem from Poland which was well-known for it.

"It's not finalised but Poland is very high on the list," he told a Polishjournalist who asked what was agreed. When another reporter asked how longwas the list, Dr Mahathir said: "The list has been narrowed down so thatnow for certain items, Poland is practically at the top.

"For all this things, we have to study very carefully because other peopletoo are trying to promote their products and we have to make a choice, sowe take a bit of time," he said.

Poland has offered to sell, among other things, main battle tanks, ofwhich the Prime Minister was scheduled to witness a demonstration latertoday. Liszek regarded Dr Mahathir's visit as a breakthrough in enhancingties especially in economic cooperation.

With such agreements as the avoidance of double taxation and investment inplace, he said, it would encourage Polish producers and investors to sendtheir products to Malaysia.

Liszek became prime minister after his Democratic Left Alliance (SLD)secured an overall majority in parliamentary election last September.After their talks, both prime ministers headed their respective sides fordelegation discussion.

The Malaysian delegation comprised, among others, Foreign Minister DatukSeri Syed Hamid Albar, International Trade and Industry Minister DatukSeri Rafidah Aziz and Defence Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Earlier, Dr Mahathir was accorded a red carpet welcome, marking the firstMalaysian prime minister to visit Poland since diplomatic relations wereestablished between the two countries 30 years ago. Dr Mahathir later metwith Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski and addressed aMalaysia-Poland business luncheon. -- BERNAMA