Located nearly 3,000 kilometres apart, it is easy to assume that Malaysia and Taiwan have very little history in common. However, this assumption is far from the truth.
Before its formation, Taiwan’s spiritual father, Sun Yat-sen, had sought refuge in Penang, Malaya while in exile from China. In addition to that, Sun advocated the establishment Kwong Wah Yit Poh (Malaya’s first local Chinese vernacular daily) which remains active today.
Fast forward several decades, Taiwan established the “Far East Travel and Trade Centre”, which was renamed the Taipei Economic and Cultural Centre in 1988.
In recent years, the relationship between Taiwan and Malaysia is very much active and vibrant especially in terms of trade. Statistics from Malaysia External Trade Development Coporation (MATRADE) attest to the dynamic trade relations:
In 2018, Taiwan was Malaysia’s:
- 6th largest trading partner (after China, Singapore and the US, accounting for 5.1% of Malaysia’s total global trade in 2018);
- 11th largest export destination; and
- 4th largest source of imports.
Meanwhile, Malaysia was Taiwan’s:
- 7th largest trading partner (after China, United State and Japan, accounting for 3.30% of Taiwan’s total global trade in 2018);
- 7th largest export destination; and
- 7th largest source of imports.
Recently, Dr. Abdul Razak Ahmad (Founding Director of Bait Al Amanah) was invited to present and participate in several leadership workshops and courtesy calls in Taipei. This included a Regional Leadership Workshop at the Ma Ying-Jeou Foundation.
With an illustrious career as the President from 2008 to 2016, Justice Minister (1993-1996) and Mayor of Taipei (1998-2006), President Ma contributed greatly to the significant increase of economic improvement in Taiwan and warm social connection with Mainland China.
Besides, the Malaysian team also had an engagement on people to people relations with the Vice Premier of Taiwan, Chen Chi-mai. Apart from being the current spokesperson of the Democratic Progressive Party and Chief Executive Officer of its Policy Research and Coordinating Committee, the Vice Premier has successfully developed Kaoshiung into an international city during his stint as the Mayor of the city.
Next, the Malaysian delegates were also given the privilege to visit Taipei Cancer Hospital. Interestingly, this hospital was built through an endowment from a Taiwanese philantrophist.
Bait Al Amanah sincerely hopes that Taiwan-Malaysia relations continue to prosper for mutual prosperity, with greater opportunities for exchange in trade, agriculture, science & technology, research & development, culture and tourism, education and many more.