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KUALA LUMPUR: The European Union (EU) is open to a strategic collaboration with Malaysia in the development of digital banking initiatives in an effort to enhance the interconnectivity between the two parties.
EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn said any form of collaboration is positive in the way that it contributes to more transparency and traceability of actions that could bring the two governments closer to each other.
"I welcome all the initiatives towards enhancing interconnectivity including the development of digital banks in Malaysia and it has to be based on a legal framework,” he told Bernama in an exclusive interview in conjunction with his maiden official visit to Malaysia, today.
Earlier, Hahn spent nearly an hour meeting with Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz and Bank Negara deputy governor Datuk Marzunisham Omar to further discuss the bilateral cooperation between the EU and Malaysia.
Hahn said the main purpose of his visit was to present the NextGenerationEU issuance programme, a bond initiative issued in order to help the EU economy to recover and become more resilient to global challenges.
"The key element of these so-called green bonds is to invest in the green transition initiative to address the effect of climate change and to improve the living condition of the people.,
"It is an attractive product and I would like to see Malaysia being invested in these European bonds as an element to further strengthen our bilateral ties and excellence relationship,” he added.
Commenting on the effect of the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine on the economy and the disruption of the global supply chain, Hahn noted that it has proven necessary to become less dependent on one supplier and to focus more on renewable energy efficiency.
He said the EU is facing challenging times with the rising energy price that has triggered significant inflation, but the union is trying its best to contain it.
"The EU has already introduced and launched a lot of measures to diversify our energy supply, for instance, to increase the import of liquified natural gas by 75 per cent since the outbreak of the war.
"We have also created what we called an energy partnership with several companies from inside and outside of Europe,” he said. - Bernama