The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V says Malaysia and Bahrain should continue to explore opportunities and potential to increase bilateral trade in strengthening economic relations between the two countries.
He said it was for this purpose that Malaysia was inviting and encouraging the private sectors of both countries to play a more active role in seeking trade and investment opportunities in Malaysia and Bahrain.
"I believe there are still several possibilities to be harnessed together in exploring economic opportunities between the two countries," Sultan Muhammad V added.
The Agong said this in his speech at the state banquet at Istana Negara last night, which was held in honour of the King of Bahrain, King Hamad Isa Al Khalifa, who is currently in Malaysia for a state visit.
The event held at the Palace Banquet Hall was attended by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, his wife Rosmah Mansor and cabinet ministers including Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, who is also the minister-in-attendance.
Earlier, Sultan Muhammed V held an audience with the Bahrain King at Dewan Seri Maharaja.
The Agong subsequently expressed confidence that the possibilities of potential cooperation were not only through trade and investment.
Cooperation in defence
"In this regard, I am pleased to say that cooperation in the field of defence would continue to strengthen relationship between the two countries," he said.
Last year, total bilateral trade between Malaysia and Bahrain reached RM861.5 million (US$207.3 million).
The Agong said a state visit like this gave both the countries the opportunity to further strengthen cooperation in various fields, such as education, tourism and trade, and was pleased to see both countries committed to improving bilateral relations.
"The relationship between both our countries is indeed, good and strong. This visit will further enhance fraternal relations between the two countries as well as personal relationship between the leaders," he noted.
Sultan Muhammad V said Malaysia and Bahrain discussed and shared their views on global issues, particularly on universal ummah.
King Hamad, who is here at the invitation of Sultan Muhammad V, arrived in Malaysia on Sunday night for a state visit until May 3.
This visit, which is his first to Malaysia since he ascended the throne on March 6, 1999, is part of his series of visits to South-East Asian nations.