PUTRAJAYA - Britain has vowed to take its bilateral relations with Malaysia to a new height after nearly two decades of "benign neglect".
British Prime Minister David Cameron said he was determined to put things in the right perspective.
"This is the first time a British PM has come to Malaysia in almost 20 years.
"It has been a period, as you (Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak) have charitably put it, of benign neglect and I am determined to put that right," he said yesterday.
Cameron was speaking at a joint press conference with Najib after their meeting at Seri Perdana here.
"So my message today is very simple: the era of benign neglect is over. Britain is back to do business with Malaysia, back to build our partnership on vital global issues," he said.
Cameron said efforts to reinvigorate the relationship started in Downing Street during Najib's visit to London in July last year.
"Our vision is simple, to achieve a step change in Britain's trade and investments with Malaysia and we have agreed on three things.
"We have set ourselves a new target of doubling bilateral trade to £8bil (RM39.11bil) by 2016 with a joint working group to help get us there.