Nepal and Malaysia established diplomatic relations on January 1, 1960. Ever since the establishment of diplomatic relations, both countries have been enjoying friendly and cordial relations. Both countries believe in the policy of Non-alignment; are committed to the ideals of the United Nations; and hold similar views on major international issues.The two countries have seen a frequent exchange of high level visits. Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, former Prime Minister of Malaysia visited Nepal leading an eleven-memberdelegation in March 2014. He was in Kathmandu to attend, as the keynote speaker, the Business Conclave organized by the Government of Nepal and the Federation of Nepali Chamber ofCommerce and Industry (FNCCI).Similarly, Malaysian Home Minister visited Nepal from 1-3 April 2014.
There have also been a number of high level visits from Nepal to Malaysia on different occasions.
Nepal-Malaysia Economic and Technical Cooperation:
Malaysia has been providing some scholarships to Nepal in different fields, including agriculture, electronics, education, administration, anti-corruption, environment management, computer programming, disaster risk management, trade, etc under Malaysian Technical Cooperation Program (MTCP). Some officials belonging to Nepal Foreign Service have also got the opportunity to take trainings in the Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations(IDFR) of Malaysia.
Malaysia has recognized Nepal as one of the source countries for foreign workers since January 2001. Nepal is now the second largest source country of foreign workers to Malaysia. At present, an estimated 700,000 Nepali workers are working in Malaysia.Out of the total Nepali workers in Malaysia, most of them work in the manufacturing sector and some work in the service, agriculture, construction and other sectors. Many Nepaliyouths prefer Malaysia as their destination for work because of favorable climatic, social and cultural factors. The availability of indoor jobs is, of course, a major attraction. Malaysia recruits foreign workers from 15 different countries including Nepal.
Nepal exports vegetable products, handicrafts, garments and apparels to Malaysia while imports machineries and vehicles parts, vegetable oils, electrical equipments and electronic appliances, furniture and parts, plastic and other chemical products. The bilateral trade is heavily in favour of Malaysia. The trade figures between the two countries are shown in the following table:
Nepal- Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry was established in 2003.Tourism
The number of tourists visiting Nepal from Malaysia is insignificant. In the recent years, there is an increasing trend of visiting Malaysia by Nepali tourists. However, some recent data of Malaysian tourists to Nepal are as follows:
|No. of Tourist||18756||18,842||18,915||9,855||13,669|
Source: Nepal Tourism Board, Nepal Tourism Statistics 2015
Air Service Agreement between Nepal and Malaysia was first signed in 2007.Air Connectivity is important for tourism promotion as well as business activities. Currently Nepal Airlines (5-6 flights per week) and Himalaya Airlines(14 flights per week as per agreement) of Nepal are operating direct flights to Malaysia (Nepal Airlines started Kathmandu-Kuala Lumpur flight from 31 March 2003) whereas, three Malaysian Airlines: Air Asia (since July 3, 2012), Malaysian Airlines (since September 2012) and Malindo Air are operating direct flights between Kathmandu and Kuala Lumpur.
Foreign Direct Investment
Malaysia has also invested in 27 different industries, service sectors and other fields amountingto $466.48 Million which generates 853 job opportunities. Foreign direct investment by Malaysia in Nepal for the last four fiscal years stands as follows:
Value in Million
|Fiscal Year||No.of Industries||Investment(NRS)||Total no. of Employment|
Source: Department of Industries, GON, Industrial statistics 2070/71(2013/14)
Sectors like energy, manufacturing, agriculture, tourism, mines, education and health sectors can be the potential investment areas for Malaysian investors in Nepal.
MoU on Labour
The issue of the Nepali workers in Malaysia is the most formidable issue at present. With the gradual increase in the number of such workers, various unforeseen problems have surfaced. To regulate these issues, Government of Nepal and the Government of Malaysia are in the process of concluding a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)on the Recruitment, Employment, and Repatriation of Workers.
New King in Malaysia
His Majesty Sultan Muhammad V of Kelantan began his reign as the 15th Yang di-PertuanAgong for a duration of 5 years beginning from 13 December 2016. The Right Hon’ble President Bidya Devi Bhandari sent a message of Congratulations to the new King.