Melaka and Guangdong, a southeast coastal province of China, today signed a memorandum of understanding to enhance friendly and cooperative relations.

Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron and Guangdong Province Governor Zhu Xiaodan signed the MoU in the presence of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Zhu and his delegation had earlier called on Najib at his office here.

The MoU on the Establishment of Friendly State and Province provides for cooperation, among others, in land development including land reclamation, agriculture, connectivity, knowledge-sharing in trade and investment, tourism development of industrial parks which promote green technology and facilitating communication between cultural practitioners and institutions such as museums.

At a news conference later, Idris said the MoU reflected a historic point for Melaka and Malaysia in strengthening bilateral relations between Melaka and Guangdong.

He said the prime minister did not want the MoU to be remain ceremonial but develop into action plans to give a new face to the economic landscape of Melaka and Malaysia.

A working committee would be established to monitor the implementation of the discussed areas of cooperation to make them a reality soon.

These areas included the construction of a Maritime Industrial Park, the Guangdong-Melaka Industrial Estate (for the manufacture of electrical consumer goods), the construction of a deep-sea port in Melaka and the construction/provision of land-use areas for purposes of trade and commerce, he said.

“We will begin work once the sub-section agreements have been signed, including with the private sector,” he said.

Last Saturday, seven Melaka state government companies and agencies signed MoU with seven companies from Guangdong, in the presence of Zhu during his visit to Melaka.

Idris said Najib and Zhu wanted the introduction of direct flights soon between Melaka and Guangdong.
Also present at today's event were Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong, the Prime Minister's Special Envoy to China Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting.

Secretary-General of the Guangdong Provincial Government Li Feng, Director-General of the Guangdong Foreign Affairs Office, Fu Lang, and China’s Ambassador to Malaysia Dr Huang Huikang.