M'sia, Monaco unlocking opportunities through royal diplomacy

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's bilateral relations with Monaco is set to see new highs with the establishment of Monaco's first Honorary Consulate Office in Kuala Lumpur.

The move further strengthens the foundations for a new partnership, opening doors to a multitude of possibilities and offering both nations the opportunities for shared growth and development.

Prince Albert II of Monaco who graced the opening of the consulate in conjunction with his four-day state visit here last week underscored the importance of this diplomatic step and expressed optimism for the further growth of bilateral relations.

Commenting on the opening of the city-state's Consulate Office here, Ab & Artho Senior Advisor and Director, Dr Farizal Mohd Razalli said it marked a significant milestone in the diplomatic relations between Monaco and Malaysia. 

The communications strategist specialising in public and international affairs also viewed the development as 'personally crafted royal diplomacy' under Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah's leadership, whereby close linkages between royal families could contribute to opportunities for both nations.

"There aren't any specific regional nor global events that have led to the recent event. But I view it as a personally crafted royal diplomacy, thanks to our Yang di-Pertuan Agong's visit to Monaco earlier in May that may have convinced Monaco's Prince Albert II to seal the diplomatic conduit," he said. 

He noted that while the monarchy's role may be limited in much of the foreign policy matters, in recent years this trend has been changing where royal diplomacy has secured benefits for nations in terms of investments and trade sectors like in the case of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

"There's this special charms that royal diplomacy could infuse into the conduct of foreign affairs and diplomacy in general, just like in those Renaissance days," Farizal told Bernama.

In conjunction with Prince Albert's visit, Al-Sultan Abdullah conferred the nation's highest award, the Most Exalted Order of the Crown of the Realm (DMN), and the First Class Family Order of the Crown of Indra of Pahang on the Prince. 

As a sign of respect, Prince Albert conferred the Yang di-Pertuan Agong with Monaco's highest orders, the Grand-Croix de l'Ordre de Saint-Charles.

During his state visit here, the Prince had also visited the Malayan Tiger Conservation Centre (MTCC) and Kuala Gandah National Elephant Conservation Centre (PKGKG) in Lanchang, Pahang, as well as the National Islamic Arts Museum in Kuala Lumpur. 

Meanwhile, Al-Sultan Abdullah during his visit to Monaco at the invitation of Prince Albert II had attended the launching ceremony of the Rover Lunaire Flex, an all-purpose vehicle which will be used on the moon, at the headquarters of Venturi, an automated vehicle manufacturer based in Monaco.

His Majesty also visited the F1 team Mercedes-Petronas, at the Paddocks and Automobile Club Monaco.

Also Read: Monaco to collaborate with Malaysia in more areas that benefit both countries

Speaking further on the consulate's establishment here, Farizal said it was indeed a welcoming diplomatic gesture as it reciprocated Malaysia's long establishment of the Honorary Consulate in Monaco all this while.

"From a pure diplomatic perspective, Monaco's decision attests to its acknowledgment of Malaysia's value as a friend and a partner.

"From a political-economic perspective, it indicates Monaco's readiness to explore and exploit various government-to-government relationships that also weigh in on economic benefits," he noted.

He said given Monaco's wealthy economy (second in the world in terms of gross domestic product per capita), Monaco is poised to provide potential source of investments to Malaysia, be they in terms of private equity or family-offices to fund SMEs e.g. start-ups.

"The fact that almost one in every three Monaco residents is a billionaire, Malaysia could tap into the luxury tourism market by offering unique, posh and exotic travel products and offerings that cater to these group who are forever seeking for unparalleled travel experiences more than passé clichés of luxury travels of the past," Farizal added. 

Situated on the Mediterranean coast, Monaco is a sovereign and independent state that is one square mile in size and has a population of more than 35,000.

Famed for the Monaco Grand Prix, the principality stands out as a captivating tourist destination with its hotels and other attractions. 

Malaysia and Monaco established diplomatic ties since 2009. -- BERNAMA

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