KOTA KINABALU, Sept 17 (Bernama) -- Malaysia is regarded as a good partner of Ukraine, having collaborated in a number of issues throughout 25 years of diplomatic relations.
Ukrainian Ambassador to Malaysia, Olexander Nechytaylo is pleased that the European country has marked its 25th anniversary of friendship with Malaysia with good trade and economic outcome.
"Last year, our trade (with Malaysia) exceeded US$300 million and we estimate the number to grow a further 10 per cent.
"Ukraine has become the biggest palm oil importer in central and eastern Europe and we are also expanding our exports to Malaysia, mostly agricultural products like sunflower oil," he said at a session with the media here today.
Nechytaylo said the number of Ukrainians visiting Malaysia had been growing at an average of 10 per cent annually.
However, he estimates this year's arrival of Ukrainian tourists to go up 30 per cent as compared to last year of more than 12,000.
He said Ukraine was also looking to promote the country as a tourist destination to Malaysians, allowing Malaysian travellers more destination choices.
"To that end, we are working towards different ways with travel agents and airline companies to create products that would be of interest to Malaysians.
"So, I hope that Malaysia will also work with Ukraine as a very attractive destination for tourism," he said, adding that Ukraine had many attractions, including seven United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Sites as well as halal restaurants to cater to Muslim tourists.
Nechytaylo, who attended the Malaysia Day celebrations here last night, also wished Malaysians continued peace and prosperity.
"I congratulate in your joyous occasion of celebrating Malaysia Day yesterday, which I think is an important holiday for you that emphasises the unity between Peninsular and East Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak).
"It is an important holiday that marks Malaysia as a prosperous country as what it has become today, and an important international player," he said.
Nechytaylo added he was impressed with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's good health and energy to deliver a meaningful speech to Malaysians during the celebration after a long working visit overseas.
On another development, Nechytaylo said Ukraine remained committed to work with Malaysia and other nations involved in the Joint Investigation Team on the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 tragedy.
"Ukraine as a country, we remain committed, together with Malaysia to dig to the bottom of the matter."
On July 17, 2014, Flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 on board.
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