CAPITAL: Kuala Lumpur
POPULATION: 30.75 million (2016)
FORUM DIALOGUE MEMBERSHIP ESTABLISHED: 1997
ADDITIONAL FORUM DIALOGUE MECHANISMS: None (although bilateral Senior Officials Dialogue established with PNG and Fiji)
POLITICAL SYSTEM: Democratic Constitutional Monarchy
HEAD OF STATE: Yang di-Pertuan Agong
HEAD OF GOVERNMENT: Prime Minister Najib Razak
DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS IN THE PACIFIC: 4 (Australia, Fiji, NZ, PNG)
SIGNIFICANT MULTILATERAL RELATIONSHIPS: Member of ADB, APEC, ASEAN, Commonwealth, G77, IMF, PIDF, WB, WTO, NAM, OIC, ASEM, ARF.
Common areas of strategic interest
Malaysia pursues close cooperation with Forum Island Countries in areas of: the post-2015 development agenda; combating terrorism and extremism; climate change; poverty eradication; ocean management and regional fisheries; childhood education; and women’s empowerment.
Trade in the region
Total volume of trade between Malaysia and Forum Island Countries in 2016 was approximately USD 703,985. Key export commodities from the Pacific region include cocoa (51.8%) and copra (25.23%). Key products exported by Malaysia to the region include: fuel, sugar, cooking condiments, such as oil and margarine. There was a 6.3% decrease in trade with FICs in 2016.
Malaysia currently holds a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for the term the two-year term of 2015-2016. This is Malaysia’s fourth term as a non-permanent member of the UNSC.
Malaysia provides capacity building courses through the Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme (MTCP). The Malaysian Government has pledged USD 1 million to fund a capacity building programme under the MTCP Small Islands Developing States (SIDS). Since January 2015, about 58 participants from SIDS, of which about 36 were from the Forum countries, have attended 19 short-term courses offered by MTCP.