20 February 2014 – Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III will undertake a State Visit to Malaysia on February 27 and 28, upon the invitation of His Majesty Almu’tasimu Billahi Muhibbuddin Tuanku Alhaj Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Badlishah, The Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia XIV.
This will be his first visit to Malaysia and the first high-level bilateral visit to Malaysia in years.
The visit aims to promote and strengthen Philippine-Malaysia partnerships in trade and investments, particularly those that would bring development to the communities in Mindanao, as well as in culture and education.
The President will be received in audience by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, as well as have a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak. He will also speak before a Business Opportunities Forum to be attended by leaders of the Malaysian business community. He will also be hosted to a Welcome Reception by the Filipino community.
“The visit of President Aquino comes at a time when Philippine-Malaysia relations are deepening in many aspects. We are hopeful that this visit would further elevate the partnership between the two next-door neighbor countries and partners in ASEAN. The Filipino community in Malaysia, as well as the business community here, are excited to receive President Aquino as he brings good news about the Philippines, especially its stellar economic performance, at 6.5 percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the fourth quarter of 2013,” Ambassador J. Eduardo Malaya said.
The two countries enjoy a healthy two-way flow of trade and investment. According to the National Statistics Office, Malaysia was the Philippines’ 11th largest trading partner, with total trade amounting to US$ 209.42 million as of October 2013. Philippine exports to Malaysia is valued at US$ 44.94 million and imports is valued at US$164.49 million.
Malaysia is the Philippines’ 11th major tourist market, with 109,437 Malaysian tourists visiting the Philippines in 2013, according to records from the Department of Tourism. On the other hand, 403,728 Filipinos visited Malaysia as of September 2013, making the Philippines the ninth major source of tourists for Malaysia, according to Tourism Malaysia.
Formal diplomatic relations have been nurtured through the years ever since a Philippine legation was established in Kuala Lumpur in 1959. The Philippines-Malaysia Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC), which was established in 1993 and later renamed as the Joint Commission Meeting (JCM), and other mechanisms further enhance cooperation in the political, economic, security, tourism, cultural and other fields. The Joint Commission has met seven times - in 1993, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2006 and 2011. END