H.E Ambassador Michalis Rokas gives talk on EU-Malaysia relations at Sungai Long Campus

The Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union to Malaysia, His Excellency (H.E.) Michalis Rokas visited UTAR Sungai Long Campus on 2 March 2023 to give a talk on EU-Malaysia relations.

Front row, from left: Prof Goi, H.E. Ambassador Michalis Rokas and political officer Ms Timea Magony with staff and students

H.E. Ambassador Michalis Rokas was welcomed by UTAR Vice President for Internationalisation and Academic Development Ir Prof Dr Goi Bok Min, Centre for International Studies Chairperson Dr Tan Wooi Yee, Tun Tan Cheng Lock Centre for Social and Policy Studies (TCLC) Chairperson Assoc Prof Dr Chin Yee Mun and Faculty of Accountancy and Management academic Prof Dato’ Tai Shzee Yew.

The talk was titled “EU-Malaysia relations: An insight into the EU’s strategy for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific”. It was co-organised by the Centre for International Studies and Tun Tan Cheng Lock Centre for Social and Policy Studies.

Prof Goi delivering his speeches

Prof Goi, in his welcome speech, bade a warm welcome to the esteemed guests and thanked H.E. Ambassador Michalis Rokas for taking the time to share his knowledge and insights on fortifying the EU-Malaysia relationship with UTAR staff and students.

He said, “As a university that supports international collaborations, our efforts and commitments are reflected by over 560 memoranda signed with industry partners and universities from 30 economies. These mutually-beneficial alliances have provided the University opportunities and means to pool resources and talents, share information on ways to tackle global issues, and more importantly, jointly create sustainable impacts so the world can be a better place for our next and future generations.”

Prof Goi also mentioned UTAR’s collaboration with the Embassy of Sweden, which resulted in the two parties jointly organising #globalguytalk in Malaysia in the year 2021 and 2022. Prof Goi added that UTAR has been working with educational institutions from the Europe countries, such as France, Germany, Ireland, and Greece on projects, research, academic development, student exchanges, and mutual credit recognition programmes. He ended his speech by expressing his intention to seek possible areas of collaboration with the EU Delegation to Malaysia.

H.E. Ambassador Michalis Rokas delivering his talk

H.E. Ambassador Michalis Rokas began the talk by emphasising that in a globalised world, conflicts cannot be separated.  That is why Russia’s war against Ukraine is not ‘just’ a European war, but one that concerns Asia and Malaysia as well, as the prolonged war has resulted in spillover effects, particularly the increase in food and fuel prices. “That is why cooperation in a wide field of areas is necessary, and the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement signed between EU and Malaysia at the recent EU-ASEAN Commemorative Summit enables us to work even closer together,” said H.E. Ambassador Michalis Rokas.

H.E. Ambassador Michalis Rokas explained that the EU will not only continue to fund projects on a bilateral and regional scale, but at the recent EU-ASEAN Summit, the EU and its Member States announced the mobilisation of €10 billion as part of Global Gateway to accelerate infrastructure investments in ASEAN countries, focusing on green transition and sustainable connectivity. H.E. Ambassador Michalis Rokas also mentioned that one of his tasks is to get European companies to invest in Malaysia. “European companies can provide sustainability and sustainable jobs to Malaysians and contribute greatly to Malaysia’s economy,” he said.

H.E. Ambassador Michalis Rokas also expressed his hope that the negotiations on Free Trade Agreement with Malaysia can be re-launched this year. “We have a great prospect; there is no doubt about that. We can be successful only by helping everybody to be successful. There is no way we can stand alone, especially with the challenge we are facing today,” H.E. Ambassador Michalis Rokas concluded.

After the talk, Prof Goi, accompanied by Dr Chin and Dr Tan, gave H.E. Ambassador Michalis Rokas a tour of the campus. The esteemed guests visited the TCM Centre, the Chinese Medicine Museum, FMHS Postgraduate laboratories, Mary KUOK Pick Hoo Library and LKC FES laboratories at UTAR Sungai Long Campus.

H.E. Ambassador Michalis Rokas (middle) presenting a souvenir to Prof Goi

 From left: Dr Tan, Ms Lee, Ms Timea Magony, Prof Dato’ Tai and Dr Chin

Prof Goi (right) presenting souvenirs to H.E. Ambassador Michalis Rokas

From left:  H.E. Ambassador Michalis Rokas, Ms Timea Magony and Prof Goi at the Chinese Medicine Museum

At the LKC FES laboratories

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