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UPDATED: 21:07, December 18, 2006
Venezuela keen to learn from Malaysia's experience in poverty eradication: FM
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Venezuela is interested to learn from Malaysia's success in poverty eradication, Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar said Monday.

Syed, who is accompanying Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on his visit to Venezuela, said his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro informed him of the matter during their discussion Monday.

Maduro was keen to learn how Malaysia could manage to reduce its poverty rate drastically from more than 50 percent in the early 1970's to only 5.7 percent last year, Syed told Malaysian journalists in Caracas, capital of Venezuela.

In facilitating the move, the two countries will establish a joint economic and social development council next year, Syed was quoted as saying by the Bernama news agency.

The council, which will consist of representatives from the government and private sectors of both countries, will strengthen bilateral economic ties and also look into ways to help lift poor Venezuelans out of poverty, said Syed.

Trade between the two countries stood at 39.6 million U.S. dollars last year, according to figures given by the Malaysian side.

Badawi arrived in Caracas Sunday to kick off a three-day official visit, which coincides with the 20th anniversary of the Malaysia-Venezuela diplomatic relations established on Dec. 18, 1986.

Source: Xinhua

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