YOGYAKARTA, July 5 (Bernama) -- The Asean Plus Three (China, Japan and South Korea) village head exchange programme proposed by Malaysia has brought positive benefits in strengthening ties between the people of participating countries.
Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said the programme, which was accepted by the Asean +3 Ministerial Meeting in Bangkok in 2011, was activated in April with the first visit conducted by village heads from Asean countries to Chengdu, China.
He believed the programme would make a lasting impact on people-to-people relations in the region and it would be a permanent feature and not a one-off affair.
"Thus, Malaysia and other Asean countries are confident that this programme can serve as a platform to bring the people closer through people-to-people relations," he said on the sidelines of the eight Asean Ministerial Meeting on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication here today.
Mohd Shafie said the village head exchange programme, which was funded by China, Japan and South Korea, entailed participants from Asean countries visiting the donor countries.
Following positive feedbacks from the programme, Asean countries have requested for such programme to be conducted among Asean countries with the fund contributed by the three donor countries, he added.
AFY AFY MB