PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia — Malaysia and Luxembourg have agreed on the possibility of establishing a joint business council to strengthen and foster greater cooperation in many areas, including trade, investment, Islamic finance and banking .

In a statement yesterday, Wisma Putra (Malaysian Foreign Ministry) said the agreement was reached during Foreign Minister Anifah Aman’s working visit to Luxembourg on Friday when he paid a courtesy call on Luxembourg Foreign and European Affairs Minister Jean Asselborn.

The Foreign Ministry said the courtesy call enabled both sides to share and exchange views on issues of mutual interest, including the Malaysia-EU Partnership Cooperation Agreement, Malaysia-EU Free-Trade Agreement, as well as possible cooperation in green finance.

Through the Luxembourg’s Green Finance, Asselborn is keen to assist Malaysia in terms of sharing of knowledge regarding sustainable development, as well as providing a platform for the promotion of sustainable palm oil.

A group of chief executive officers led by the Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry (ALFI) will be undertaking a working visit to Malaysia for this purpose on Jan 3-4, 2018, it added.

The ministry said during the bilateral meeting, Anifah conveyed Malaysia’s appreciation for Luxembourg’s support towards Malaysia’s success in tabling the moderation resolution at the 72nd United Nations’ General Assembly.

The Foreign Minister (Anifah) also thanked Luxembourg for supporting Malaysia’s candidature to the International Maritime Organisation for the term 2018-2019, it said.

On the regional situation, Wisma Putra said both foreign ministers shared similar concerns over the United States’ decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and recognised the complexity of the situation in Rakhine .

Anifah asserted the Malaysian government’s concern over the US’ decision as it had inflamed Muslim sentiment and did not contribute towards the security and stability of the region, it said.

On the situation in Rakhine, Wisma Putra said both ministers urged Myanmar to implement the Kofi Annan’s advisory committee’s recommendations expeditiously in addressing the root causes and the urgent humanitarian situation of the Rohingyas.

The Foreign Minister (Anifah) also briefed Asselborn on Malaysia’s role in addressing the root causes of humanitarian situation of the Rohingyas, as well as providing humanitarian assistance, both bilaterally and at the international fora such as ASEAN and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

Both ministers also exchanged views on regional developments such as continuous collaboration between ASEAN and EU (European Union) on areas of common interest, development of the BREXIT (Britain leaving the EU) negotiations, the situation in the Korean Peninsular, refugees and migration, it added.

The working visit has contributed towards greater understanding and appreciation of each other’s position and perspectives on various matters, as well as provided impetus to the Malaysia-Luxembourg bilateral relations as 2017 marks the 60th anniversary of their diplomatic relations.