Culture An Important Role For Economic Relations To Flourish – Envoy
By Azzah Mohamad Som
BANGI, Oct 11 (Bernama) — Culture can play an important role in building the necessary framework for economic relations to flourish between Latin American and Southeast Asian countries, Venezuelan Ambassador to Singapore Alfredo Toro Hardy said here today.
“I think that in order to have a good economic relations, we have to begin by knowing each other,” he told Bernama after the 4th Simon Bolivar public lecture series ‘Latin Americans: Who Are We?’
He opined that in this aspect culture could become a platform to enhance economic relations and to build up trust.
“If we don’t know each other we cannot trust each other. We have so many elements in common, which we need to explore and we must make an effort to teach and explain to each other who we are,” he said.
The lecture was held in conjunction with the 11th Venezuelan Week to commemorate 30 years of diplomatic relations with Malaysia.
Hardy felt that there was still room for Latin America and Southeast Asia to know more of each other, especially on culture.
“We know very little of the importance of the cultural aspect of this part of the world,” he said.
He commended the Venezuelan embassy in Malaysia for its efforts in making the Latin American cultural identity known to Malaysians and hoped the embassy would continue to do so.
Meanwhile, Venezuelan Ambassador to Malaysia Manuel Guzman said he hoped to achieve a new level of relationship between the two regions which have many things in common.
The public lecture was a kickstart to the 11th Venezuelan Week, which begins today until Oct 30. It was organised by the Venezuelan embassy here together with Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s (UKM) Institute of Malaysian and International Studies (IKMAS).
Also present were IKMAS Director Prof Dr Rashila Ramli, Latin American Ambassadors in the country and university students.