KARACHI - Malaysia and Pakistan have very close relations built on common belief, culture and values. However, these bonds need to be further strengthened, said Consul General of Malaysia in Karachi, Abu Baker Mamat.He was addressing at a reception held to celebrate the 55th National Day of Malaysia. He said the close ties were based on the fact that Pakistan was among the first countries to recognise Malaysia when the Malay people became independent and establish diplomatic relations.Mamat said despite the challenging economic times facing the world, Pakistan-Malaysia bilateral trade had continued to record positive growth touching $2.8billion last year. He added that many Malaysian firms are operating in Pakistan in the housing development, infrastructure, highway construction, palm oil, power generation, financial services and telecommunication sectors.Mamat hoped to further cement ties through creative and innovative initiatives and strive for closer bilateral relations and everlasting friendship between Pakistan and Malaysia.