French Prime Minister Ayrault arrives in Malaysia
SEPANG, July 28 -- French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault arrived in Malaysia for a two-day official visit, beginning Sunday.
Accompanied by wife, Brigitte, he was greeted by International Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Datuk Hamim Samuri and Foreign Deputy Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin, upon arrival at the Bunga Raya Complex, Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) here at 5.45pm.
Also present with Ayrault were External Trade Minister Nicole Bricq, Minister Delegate with responsibility for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, Innovation and Digital Economy Fleur Pellerin, Foreign Deputy Minister Helene Conway-Mouret, as well as French members of parliament and a business delegation.
The last official visit by a French prime minister to Malaysia was by Pierre Mauroy in 1982.
Ayrault's visit will be part of his three-nation regional tour, including New Caledonia and South Korea, aimed at enhancing existing areas of cooperation and broadening into new spheres of cooperation.
Monday, Ayrault is scheduled to have a closed-door meeting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, followed by a bilateral delegation meeting to discuss bilateral relations and matters of mutual interest.
Prior to that, an official welcoming ceremony will be accorded to Ayrault at the Dataran Perdana in Putrajaya, while an official dinner will be held in his honour at Seri Perdana, Putrajaya, in the evening.
Ayrault's visit to Malaysia will serve as a reaffirmation of the French Government's commitment under the administration of President Francois Hollande to strengthen political ties between the two countries.
Ayrault is scheduled to visit the Sendayan Techvalley located in Bandar Sri Sendayan, Negeri Sembilan, where he will officiate a ground-breaking ceremony to launch a French investment project worth USD125 million (RM399.6 million).
He is also expected to address a Malaysia-France Economic Forum organised by the French Embassy here, in collaboration with the Malaysian-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry.