By Max Clarke

Business Secretary, Vince Cable, has signed a series of agreements with Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Razak, in a bid to boost bilateral trade between the two countries.

Four Memoranda of Understanding were signed on Tuesday during Prime Minister Razak’s visit to the UK.

“The economies of Britain and Malaysia are in many ways complementary and therefore we both want to try to work together where we can,” said Cable.

Britain and Malaysia both, for example, have ambitious plans to modernise their infrastructure. It makes sense therefore to work together and learn from each other as we build 21st century rail networks.

British energy firm Petrofac signed a deal with the Malaysian national oil company, Petronas, to exchange information and skills on developing offshore fields. Both companies will also work together to speed up development at the West Desaru Fault Block and bring forward production by two years.

The University of Reading also signed a memorandum to deepen ties in the fields of cybernetics, urban planning and student exchanges.

Dr Cable and Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar, Chairman of Malaysia’s Land Public Transport Commission, also signed an MoU to co-operate on sharing knowledge and expertise on rail networks.

The agreement comes as Malaysia embarks on a £10.5billion rail scheme in Kuala Lumpur.

The Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) is a proposed three line 150km rail network of two northeast-southwest radial lines and one circle line looping around Kuala Lumpur city. The project was launched by Prime Minister Najib on 8 July and is Malaysia’s largest ever infrastructure project.

The Secretary of State for Transport, Philip Hammond, yesterday (Thursday) hosted a roundtable of UK rail companies with the Malaysian dignitaries.

A contract was also signed between the University of Warwick and the National Defence University of Malaysia to provide a bespoke MSc course in Engineering Business Management on defence and security.

Said Cable: “What is really pleasing to see is the depth of co-operation across a range of sectors from education to energy and infrastructure. These agreements signed today demonstrate our long-term commitment to Malaysia and we hope British companies will play a leading role in Malaysia’s Economic Transformation Programme.”

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