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Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will arrive here Sunday (Dec 17) for his first official visit to Sri Lanka.

The visit comes as Malaysia and Sri Lanka mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties.

The charge d’affaires at the Malaysian High Commission in Sri Lanka Zainal Izran Zahari said the Prime Minister’s visit is also to reciprocate Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena visit to Malaysia in December last year.

Speaking to Malaysian reporters, Zainal Izran said Najib will be given an official welcome by the Sri Lankan President on Monday (Dec 18).

“A bilateral meeting will then be held where the main issue to be discussed is the proposed free trade agreement between Malaysia and Sri Lanka,” Zainal Izran said.

Bilateral trade between Malaysia and Sri Lanka stands at US$499.1mil (RM2.03bil) from January to September this year, a 13.6% rise compared with the same period last year.

Zainal Izran said Najib will meet with Sri Lanka’s business leaders and the Malaysian community here.

“Our Prime Minister will also meet with representatives of Malaysian companies in Sri Lanka such as Dialog Axiata and Hyrax Oil Sdn Bhd,” said Zainal Izran.

Dialog Axiata is currently Malaysia’s biggest investor in Sri Lanka with an investment worth US$2.1bil (RM8.57bil) in the telecommunications sector.

Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will meanwhile host a lunch for Najib.

Zainal Izran said Najib last visited Sri Lanka in Nov 2013 to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

Najib will be accompanied by his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and several ministers, including International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam, and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.

Separately, Wisma Putra on Dec 12 issued a statement saying that Malaysia’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Wan Zaidi Wan Abdullah had been reassigned to the Foreign Ministry prior to Najib’s visit.

The statement said that Wan Zaidi is due to take up an important assignment related to Malaysia’s chairmanship of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

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