Businesses in Malaysia and Singapore should increase cooperation and take advantage of the good bilateral relations between both countries, says Malaysia’s Foreign Minister, Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, as reported by BERNAMA.

Anifah said Malaysia was pleased with the uptrend in bilateral trade with Singapore.

He was speaking to Malaysian reporters here in conjunction with the Malaysia-Singapore Leaders’ Retreat between Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his Singaporean counterpart, Lee Hsien Loong.

Najib, accompanied by his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor is leading the Malaysian delegation, comprising of 10 Cabinet Ministers and Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman, as well as senior government officials.

According to Anifah, Singapore was Malaysia’s second largest export destination, and also the second largest source of imports in 2011.

“With total exports of US$28.8 billion to Singapore and total imports of US$24 billion from the republic, the overall total trade was in Malaysia’s favour, with a trade surplus of US$4.8 billion,” he added.

Anifah said that Malaysia looked forward to Singapore increasing its investments in Malaysia, nothing that there had been an increase in the flow of investments from Singapore.

Anifah said the Leaders’ Retreat meeting will provide an excellent opportunity for both leaders to chart a course for greater partnership between Malaysia and Singapore.

The last retreat was held on Jan 5, 2012 in Putrajaya.