A new Malaysian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands has presented her letter of appointment to His Excellency the Governor General, Sir Frank Kabui in Honiara today.

Her Excellency, Datin (Madame) Blanche Olbery said her appointment symbolizes her country's willingness to strengthen the friendship that has existed between Solomon Islands and Malaysia over the years.

Ms Olbery who is based in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, pledges to make every effort to further strengthen the existing relationship, with particular attention to trade and economic development.

She said the relations between the two countries have always been positive and Malaysia had expressed its desire to maintain that friendship.

In terms of bilateral trade, Solomon Islands total export volume to Malaysia from January to September 2009 was valued at SB$30 million, an increase of 33.7 percent.

On imports, Ms Olbery said Solomon Islands is the second largest importer of Malaysian products in the Pacific region.

Ms Olbery also encouraged the Solomon Islands Government to take full advantage of the Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme (MTCP) which offers many training opportunities for developing countries around the world.

Governor General, Sir Frank Kabui said the benefits Solomon Islanders have derived from the operation of the Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme are very much appreciated.

"Education is one of the areas of government priorities in Solomon Islands. The continuation and expansion of this program into scholarship awards will be a positive step in ensuring our young people do obtain quality training in Malaysia," Sir Frank said.

Other significant issues noted by Sir Frank includes Malaysia's investments in Solomon Islands, Malaysia being an important partner in the Pacific Forum and Malaysia's believe in the principles of freedom, human rights, the rule of law and democracy.