PCO

PH-MALAYSIA BILATERAL RELATIONS. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (left) welcomes Malaysian Foreign Minister Dato’ Seri Utama Haji Mohamad Bin Haji Hasan at Malacañang Palace in Manila on Monday (July 1, 2024). The two leaders discussed the bilateral relations between the Philippines and Malaysia, and important regional issues. (Photo courtesy of PPA Pool)

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. welcomed Malaysian Foreign Minister Dato’ Seri Utama Haji Mohamad Bin Haji Hasan in Malacañang during the latter’s courtesy call on Monday.

According to a Presidential Communications Office news release, the two leaders discussed the bilateral relations between the Philippines and Malaysia, and important regional issues.

“Welcome, welcome to the Philippines. Thank you for finding time to visit with us while you are travelling around ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations). So, I hope you will have a productive visit,” President Marcos was quoted as telling the Malaysian foreign minister.

Marcos said the Philippines is looking forward to keeping itself in “constant communication” with Malaysia on current developments.

Diplomatic relations between Malaysia and the Philippines started in 1959 with the establishment of the Philippine legation in Kuala Lumpur. The Philippine legation was formally instituted as a Consulate on May 18, 1964, marking the formal establishment of relations.

On July 25-27, 2023, President Marcos made his state visit to Malaysia and had an audience with His Majesty Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’yatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Al-Musta’in Billah, who was then Yang di-Pertuan Agong XVI (King) of Malaysia.

Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim earlier visited the Philippines on March 1-2, 2023.

Marcos and Ibrahim engaged in cordial and productive discussions on bilateral cooperation spanning politics, security, economy and people-to-people ties during their restricted and expanded bilateral meetings.

Malaysia played an important role in establishing peace in Muslim Mindanao. Over the past several years, the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) region has made significant strides in building institutions for self-governance in accordance with the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).

The region is preparing for its local elections in 2025.

In 2023, the Philippines’ total trade with Malaysia amounted to USD8.1 billion. In the same period, the country’s exports to Malaysia were valued at USD2.18 billion while imports from Malaysia were estimated at USD5.92 billion.

Also last year, Malaysia ranked as the Philippines’ 9th major trading partner, 11th export market, and 8th import supplier. The Philippines has recorded a trade deficit in favor of Malaysia for the past five years.

Malaysia ranked 16th among the Philippines’ top investment partners in 2023, with total approved investments amounting to USD13.17 million.

Some 97,639 tourist arrivals from Malaysia were recorded in 2023, up from just 46,805 in 2022. The Philippines recorded 139,882 tourist arrivals from Malaysia in 2019 prior to the pandemic.

There are an estimated 950,043 Filipinos living in Malaysia (Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, Sarawak, Labuan), of which 628,450 are estimated to be undocumented, and 321,593 are considered temporary migrants, including those on work and visit visas. (PCO)

444