SOUTHEAST ASIA DIVISION
Southeast Asia Division of Wisma Putra administers Malaysia’s bilateral relations with its five immediate neighbours and fellow founding members of ASEAN namely, Brunei Darussalam; Republic of Indonesia; Republic of The Philippines; Singapore; and Kingdom of Thailand. The Division also administers Malaysia’s bilateral relation with the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste.
The multifaceted cooperation and partnership with these countries are of utmost importance to Malaysia given ASEAN as the cornerstone of Malaysia’s foreign policy.
Malaysia has diplomatic Missions in all these countries, which also maintain their respective diplomatic Missions in Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysia - Brunei Darussalam
Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam have a special relationship, underscored by the long historical ties that bind the Malay and Brunei Royal Families, as well as the shared family, religious, cultural, ethnic and linguistic affinities.
The most notable high-level annual event between the two countries is the Annual Consultation.
Bilateral trade, investment and economic cooperation as well as cooperation in oil and gas continue to be both encouraging and promising. The two countries inked the Agreement on Economic Cooperation on 2 September 2012 in conjunction with the 16th Annual Consultation. In 2014, the trade was valued at RM 3.64 billion (USD 1.1 billion). In the same year, the people of Brunei Darussalam made approximately 1.23 million visits to Malaysia.
Malaysia – Republic of Indonesia
Malaysia and Republic of Indonesia enjoy active, multifaceted bilateral relationship that is strongly founded on shared cultural, religious and historical experiences.
The most notable high-level annual event between the two countries is the Annual Consultation. In addition, the two countries have various other bilateral mechanisms such as the Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation Meetings (JCBC), the General Border Committee (GBC), and the Joint Trade Investment Committee (JTIC) which continue to contribute significantly to the enhancement of mutually beneficial collaboration.
Malaysia – Republic of The Philippines
Malaysia and Republic of The Philippines continue to enjoy warm and cordial bilateral relationship.
In addition to the exchange of high-level visits, both countries also have bilateral mechanisms such as the Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) to address a wide range of collaborative efforts. Through the Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme (MTCP), Malaysia has received the participation of 985 Philippine officials in various short and long term courses since 1980.
Malaysia – Singapore
In 2014, Singapore was Malaysia’s 2nd largest trading partner globally and largest trading partner among member countries of ASEAN. In 2014, total trade between the two countries was recorded at RM194.52 billion (US$59.5 billion).
Malaysia – Kingdom of Thailand
Apart from the bilateral mechanisms, Malaysia is also working closely with Thailand under the framework Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) to improve the connectivity and socio economic developments of the peoples in both countries. Malaysia through the Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme (MTCP) has also seen the participation of 745 Thailand officials in various short and long-term courses since 1981.
Malaysia – Democratic Republic of Timor Leste
Malaysia and Timor-Leste enjoy warm and cordial bilateral relationship. Malaysia looks forward to Timor-Leste joining ASEAN in the very near future.
The relationship continues to be enhanced by Malaysia’s commitment to assisting Timor-Leste in its nation building. Malaysia has provided substantial technical assistance to Timor-Leste, especially through the Malaysia Technical Cooperation Program (MTCP) and the Malaysian Defence Cooperation Program (MDCP).
Malaysia was one of the major contributors of military and police personnel in the successive United Nations peacekeeping missions in Timor-Leste. The Royal Malaysian Police (RMP) personnel serving under the mandate of UNMIT since 2006 ended the peacekeeping mission on 13 November 2012. To mark the historical conclusion of the peace keeping mission, RMP donated 29 multi-purpose vehicles worth RM3.5 million to the Government of Timor-Leste at a ceremony held at the Embassy of Malaysia in Dili on 7 November 2012.
Bilateral trade and economic cooperation between Malaysia and Timor-Leste are set to expand further. In 2014, bilateral trade value between the two countries was registered at RM 74.2 million (USD 21.2 million).
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