Malaysia’s Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim will undertake a two-day official go to to the Philippines beginning tomorrow, his fifth abroad journey since his appointment in November.
In accordance with the state media service Bernama, which cited an announcement from the Ministry of International Affairs, the Malaysian chief will meet Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and is anticipated to debate bilateral cooperation within the areas of safety, the halal meals trade, and the digital economic system.
“The go to displays the significance of excellent ties between Malaysia and the Philippines as shut neighbors and companions in ASEAN,” mentioned the assertion. “It would present each side a wonderful alternative to advance the partnership for progress, guided by shared curiosity, elevated political and financial cooperation, and people-to-people exchanges.”
An announcement from Marcos’ workplace, which famous that Anwar’s go to can be the primary of a overseas head of presidency to the Philippines since Marcos took workplace final July, added that the 2 leaders “are additionally anticipated to alternate views on regional and worldwide points.”
Anwar’s journey completes a rota of state visits to Malaysia’s closest neighbors, following journeys to Indonesia (January), Brunei (January), Singapore (January), and Thailand (February). He’ll reportedly be accompanied by a variety of senior officers, together with International Affairs Minister Zambry Abdul Kadir, Residence Affairs Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, and Entrepreneur and Cooperatives Improvement Minister Ewon Benedick. Anwar may even maintain an engagement session with the Malaysian diaspora within the Philippines.
Typically Malaysia and the Philippines get pleasure from pleasant relations, as mirrored within the heat phrases that Anwar and Marcos exchanged after Anwar’s appointment in November.
On the safety entrance, the 2 nations share a bunch of conventional and nontraditional challenges, together with terrorism, piracy, and unlawful fishing, and since 2017 have taken half in trilateral safety patrols within the Sulu Sea, together with Indonesia. The 2 nations clearly share issues about China’s expansive claims to the South China Sea, which embody giant swathes of their respective Unique Financial Zones.
Economically, the 2 nations’ economies get pleasure from a level of complementarity, with the Philippines exporting principally uncooked supplies to Malaysia, and importing in return a variety of manufactured items together with digital merchandise, mechanical gear, home equipment, processed meals, and chemical compounds, in addition to the ever present palm oil and its numerous derivatives.
The Philippines final yr was Malaysia’s fifteenth largest buying and selling companion globally and the fifth largest throughout the Affiliation of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), whereas Malaysia was the Philippines’ eleventh largest buying and selling companion total and the third largest inside ASEAN.
These comparatively reasonable ranges of commerce level to the truth that the southern Philippines and jap Malaysia, the areas of every nation in closest proximity, are among the many most economically marginal components of every nation, removed from the most important financial and concrete facilities, and have comparatively few transport hyperlinks between them.
Certainly, the Malaysia-Philippines border between the 2 has usually been a degree of friction. Malaysia is among the prime 5 nations with the biggest inhabitants of abroad Filipinos, although many – at the least 400,000, based on one 2018 estimate – are undocumented, significantly in jap Malaysia.
The 2 nations even have an unresolved territorial dispute over the Malaysian state of Sabah, over which the nations almost went to battle within the early Sixties. Though officers on each side ceaselessly assert, and state their intention to defend, their nations’ clashing claims over Sabah, the difficulty has been principally dormant for the reason that lethal incursion into Sabah’s Lahad Datu district by militants from the southern Philippines in 2013.
That mentioned, there are sufficient areas of overlapping pursuits within the relationship that each side can be incentivized to make sure that the dispute doesn’t have an effect on the bilateral relationship, as a lot as it’d often fire up political feelings on the nationwide degree. Anwar’s go to this week presents alternative to take additional steps to develop and consolidate the connection between the 2 neighbors.