Malaysia-Taiwan ties on solid ground
09 Oct 2023
Both parties reaping benefits through trade and investment cooperation, with strong growing interest in people-to-people exchanges.
Taiwan and Malaysia have forged strong and close ties, especially in recent years, despite not having formal diplomatic relations, said Taiwan’s new representative Phoebe Yeh during the reception of the 112th anniversary of its national day on Oct 5.
Commenting on bilateral relations, she said Taiwan and Malaysia have enjoyed positive trade and investment cooperation over the years.
“While Taiwan is Malaysia’s fifth largest trading partner, Malaysia is Taiwan’s eighth largest.
“This year, trade has reached a historical high of US$36.6 billion (RM172.4 billion). This is a 36% increase compared with the previous year.
“Malaysia remains a competitive location for Taiwanese investors, particularly in the manufacturing and service sectors. Taiwan ranks as Malaysia’s eighth largest investor, with more than US$14 billion at the end of 2022.”
She said compared with other Asean countries, Malaysia has great potential in semiconductor investment and there are more than 50 Taiwanese multinational semiconductor enterprises in Malaysia.
“The enterprises that invested here can reap the benefits of Malaysia’s strength in downstream testing and packaging for end-user products.
“By combining Taiwan’s upstream production of chemicals and silicon wafers, and Malaysia’s downstream testing and packaging services, Taiwan can help develop Malaysia’s high technology landscape.”
Yeh said in recent years, Taiwan has become an ideal destination for foreigners to live and the 13,000 Malaysian students currently in Taiwan make up a large percentage of its foreigners.
“Over the past seven decades, more than 100,000 Malaysians have pursued higher education in Taiwan and established dozens of alumni associations.
“The Taiwan government makes sure all foreign students, including Malaysians, are included in our comprehensive national healthcare insurance scheme.
“There are international student departments in all schools providing additional support to students in need.”
Yeh added that Taiwan has become a popular travel destination for non-Muslims and Muslims alike.
Taiwan currently ranks third in the global Muslim travel index for popular travel destinations and first among Asean countries, Yeh said.
Malaysia has also enjoyed the hospitality of Taiwanese communities, with 1,700 of its companies operating there.
“The Taiwan government helped establish a Taiwanese school in Shah Alam decades ago to specially meet the educational needs of our Taiwanese investors and their families.”
Yeh said there is a strong growing interest in people-to-people exchanges and cultural diplomacy between Malaysia and Taiwan in recent years.
“Taiwan and Malaysia possess rich and diverse cultural heritage and artistic performances.
“We collaborate with universities and cultural institutions in Malaysia to introduce Taiwanese films, music, literature, fine arts, pop culture and creative works that promote multidimensional bilateral exchanges. Cultural diplomacy is truly something good from Taiwan and a great chance to build bridges among the people of both sides.”
She said the international landscape has changed dramatically since the end of the global pandemic.
“Taiwan is today more resilient and has shone the light on peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. We are determined to prevent any conflicts from occurring.”
Source: The Sun Daily