Turkiye and Japanese Missions Optimistic On Malaysia’s Plan To Reopen Its Borders
11 Mar 2022
Foreign missions of Turkiye and Japan in Malaysia are optimistic that the reopening of Malaysia’s international borders come April 1 will also help boost the shared diplomatic and bilateral relations.
Malaysia’s plans to enter the ‘Transition to Endemic’ phase was announced by Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob recently and it is deemed as a long awaited move.
Turkiye’s Ambassador to Malaysia Dr Merve Safa Kavakci told Bernama; “I myself feel thrilled on Malaysia’s decision to reopen her borders, thinking of the flocks of international tourists and travellers that could be levelled up as many of Malaysians could not wait to travel overseas.
“And at this point, Turkiye is under the spotlight as one of the most popular tourism destinations for Malaysians. By the same token, Turkish tourists will also be able to explore Malaysia, including Sabah and Sarawak.
“Actually, pre-pandemic figures were quite promising for our tourism sector in that Turkiye had received over 114,000 Malaysians in 2019.
“I am particularly delighted that all Malaysians visiting Turkiye are returning with very good feedback and impressions. In addition to our cultural, historical and natural hotspots to visit, Malaysians should not forget that we have really amazing food and they can go on a shopping spree since we have very competitive prices particularly in “Made in Turkiye” textile products,” she said, in a written reply to Bernama.
Kavakci added, Turkiye also expects an increase of high level and technical bilateral visits in the near future, as both nations already have excellent bilateral relations in all fields.
“Apart from that, it will be a great opportunity for potential investors from Malaysia to explore Turkiye. I would like to reiterate that, Turkiye is an excellent hub to invest with its easy access to huge markets.” she said.
On the same note, Japan’s Ambassador-designate to Malaysia, Katsuhiko Takahashi said the wonderful news has indeed given people the impression that life is coming back to normal step by step.
“Certain precautions should continue but I hope the Malaysian government and people can manage this policy direction in a good way,” he told Bernama, when asked to comment on the announcement.
“Announcement by Malaysia this time will certainly stimulate our bilateral relations…,” said Takahashi, noting that Japan’s investment in Malaysia witnessed an increase with many new projects rolled out despite the trying times due to COVID-19.
Reviving people to people exchanges between Japan and Malaysia is important in areas such as education and tourism.
“The Japanese side needs to open up like Malaysia to achieve this. Announcement of the Malaysian government this time will have some positive impact on the policies of other countries including Japan,” Takahashi said.
On March 8, Ismail Sabri said individuals who have been fully vaccinated, do not need to undergo quarantine and they only need to take the COVID-19 real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) detection test two days before departing and the professional RTK-Ag test within 24 hours after their arrival.
He said this is a compulsory procedure for all Malaysian and foreign travellers who wish to enter Malaysia, as the spread of COVID-19 especially the Omicron wave is still on in Malaysia and many countries in the world.
For countries that still have their borders closed, Ismail Sabri said Malaysians could benefit via the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) as agreed by the Government of Malaysia with the countries involved.
Malaysia had closed its international borders to foreign travellers since the implementation of the Movement Control Order on March 18, 2020, to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country.