Prince William calls Malaysian companies’ UK investments a ‘smart move’
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 14 — Prince William today lauded Malaysian companies’ “smart move” in making significant investments in various sectors of the British economy despite the prevailing difficult global economy.
Delivering his maiden speech, lasting six minutes, in Malaysia, the Duke of Cambridge said over the past few years, Malaysian companies had proven their mettle investing in iconic UK brands.
He cited a Malaysian consortium acquiring the Battersea Power Station site in London, DRB-Hicom’s investment in Lotus and Malaysian SMEs’ investments in InfoValley as some examples.
“Britain is an innovative, competitive and above all an open economy that warmly welcomes Malaysia’s businessmen and women. The striking Battersea investment is part of a welcome and growing pattern,” said the prince (picture) to some 1,000 businessmen attending the business luncheon organised by the British Malaysian Chamber of Commerce here today.
“Incidentally, I can’t help pointing out that investing in the British automotive sector is a smart move, despite what is currently a difficult international economic backdrop.
“The United Kingdom has for the first time in some 40 years again become a net exporter of cars,” said the British royal heir.
The prince said the heart of the long standing relationship between the two countries has always been a business relationship, which he described as a two-way street.
“I know that British companies in a wide variety of sectors, from oil and gas to the creative industries, are doing excellent business here,” said Prince William, who is second in line to the British throne.
Prince William said he was impressed in learning that the UK education sector was particularly active, with more students studying for UK qualifications here than in any other country in the world.
“This is not just important for educational or commercial reasons. When our students share the same curricula, and strive for common qualifications, we are building invaluable links between our younger generations that will continue to enrich and strengthen the relations between our countries for years to come.
“Catherine and I have only been here a very short time — much too short, in fact. But I am already clear that your energetic commitment now, and the potential of our young people to work together in the years ahead, will ensure that the relationship between the United Kingdom and Malaysia is full of promise and possibility,” he added.
The Duke of Cambridge, who fondly addressed Queen Elizabeth II as “my grandmother”, also delivered her special message in celebration of her 60-year reign.
“My grandmother told me that Malaysia would provide us with some wonderful experiences and unforgettable memories. And so indeed it has proved.
“The Queen has asked me to convey to the Malaysian people her deepest good wishes in this, her Diamond Jubilee Year. Thank you for this lunch, and thank you from the bottom of our hearts for welcoming us to Malaysia,” said the prince.
“Over these three days here in Kuala Lumpur and in Sabah, we are getting to learn more of the different cultures that make up this great nation and seeing for ourselves something of the fabulous natural heritage of this land. We would like to thank the Malaysian people for giving us this marvellous opportunity.”
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine, arrived in Kuala Lumpur yesterday and will be here until September 16, which is the second leg of their nine-day tour of the Far East. Singapore was their first stop. — Bernama