News Release

PBBM: Philippines, Malaysia agree to convene Joint Commission Meeting to boost cooperation

The Philippines and Malaysia agreed on Wednesday to convene the next Philippines-Malaysia Joint Commission Meeting to discuss priority cooperation in various areas of mutual interest, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said on Wednesday, following his bilateral meeting with Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.

Speaking during the joint press conference with the Malaysian leader, Marcos said they agreed to convene the Joint Commission Meeting to give Philippine and Malaysian government agencies an avenue to discuss cooperation in detail, especially regarding transnational crimes, agriculture, Halal industry, Islamic banking, education, tourism and culture, sports, and the digital economy.

“We continue to work on the corresponding MOUs in these fields and have them signed. We’ll have them signed in the near future,” Marcos said.

“Building on our bilateral relations, our governments commit to closely coordinate efforts to build capacity in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in southern Philippines, in Muslim Mindanao, especially on sectors such as the Halal industry, Islamic Banking, and Food Security.”

Malaysia, he said, has offered its expertise to train Philippine personnel and officials to strengthen their capabilities in those important sectors.

Both nations also agreed to enhance their trade and investment ties, he said, noting that, with Malaysia being one of the leading halal economies in the world, the two nations could benefit through the cooperation.

Recognizing the importance of ASEAN Centrality, Marcos said he and Anwar reaffirmed their commitment to support the activities within the context of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).

The Filipino leader expressed gratitude to the Malaysian government and its people for the warm welcome extended to him, to the First Lady, and to the whole Philippine delegation.

“And as I mark my second year as President of the Philippines, this state visit not only attests to the importance we place on Malaysia as a neighbor and as a partner in ASEAN, but also reaffirms the Philippines’ commitment to further cultivating our bonds and friendship especially as we look forward to celebrating our 60th anniversary of formal diplomatic relations with Malaysia next year.”

For his part, Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said that they have agreed with President Marcos to convene the joint commission in a bid to boost the diplomatic ties between the two countries.

“Finally, I think the issues that we relate upon is the issue of the joint commission that’s going to meet towards the end of the year. And we have outstanding MOUs, which both of us agreed to accelerate the process and where we should find ways to resolve and then hopefully sign prior to the — or during the commission meeting,” the Prime Minister said.

Malaysia was the 10th largest trading partner of the Philippines last year, with trade totaling US$8.84 billion. In the same period, Malaysia ranked as the country’s 11th export destination and 9th import source valued at US$2.46 billion and US$6.38 billion, respectively.

In terms of investments, Malaysia ranked 22nd among the Philippines’ top investment partners in 2022 and the 4th source of foreign direct investment (FDI) with US$105.7 million, registering a 56.4-percent growth from January to September 2022.

The top priority sectors for investment promotion in Malaysia include manufacturing; agribusiness (Halal, value-added processing, and agricultural products manufacturing/ downstream industry); service industry (high-value and value-added services); and, infrastructure and property development.

Public-private partnerships (PPPs); energy, especially renewable energy; and, BIMP-EAGA priority industries also belong to the top sector for promotion in Malaysia.

The Philippines established a Legation in Kuala Lumpur in 1959, which was later elevated to an Embassy in 1961. After some roadblocks, relations between Malaysian and the Philippines were formalized in December 1969. PND