Malaysia–New Zealand relations
|Malaysian High Commission, Wellington||New Zealand High Commission, Kuala Lumpur|
|High Commissioner Nur Izzah Wong Mee Choo||High Commissioner Vacant|
Chargé d'affaires a.i. Richard Mann
Malaysia–New Zealand relations (Malay: Hubungan Malaysia–New Zealand; Jawi: هوبوڠن مليسيا–نيوزيلندا; Māori: Ngā whanaungatanga Malaysia-Maori) refers to foreign relations between Malaysia and New Zealand. Malaysia has a high commission in Wellington, and New Zealand has a high commission in Kuala Lumpur. Both countries are full members of the Commonwealth of Nations and Malaysia is important to New Zealand for strategic, political and economic reasons, with both countries' leaders were engaged in frequent visits to boost their relations.
Official diplomatic relations between Malaysia and New Zealand has been established since 25 September 1957, with Malaysia remains as one of the oldest partner for New Zealand in Southeast Asia. The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) has maintained its presence since the 1950s to fight alongside its allies from the threat of communism in the Malayan Emergency, Second Malayan Emergency and Sarawak Communist Insurgency. Following the path of the formation of the Malaysian federation, the NZDF also defended the British Malaya and Borneo from the Indonesian military infiltration.
The relationship between these countries is strong as business links in Malaysia were one of the influential members in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and best known to New Zealanders. In 2005, both countries began to pursue for a free-trade agreement. In 2012, Malaysia was New Zealand's eighth-largest trading partner with Malaysia's exports comprising petroleum, computer and television equipment and palm oil worth around NZ$1.84 million while New Zealand exports to Malaysia are much higher standing at NZ$888 million consisting of dairy products, meat and scrap metal. A free trade agreement between the two countries was signed into force on 26 October 2009 in Kuala Lumpur. Many New Zealand companies have their significant present in Malaysia mainly in food sectors, telecommunications and ICTs as well the New Zealand urging more Malaysian investors to invest in New Zealand.
The total bilateral trade between two countries in 2016 stood at US$1.42 billion with exports amounted to US$730 million, while imports amounted to US$680 million. In 2017, the two countries expressed their interest to expand the collaboration in ICTs and tourism sectors. In the same year, New Zealand economic relations with Malaysia is also being discovered in other areas such as food (mainly dairies products) and beverage sector and both countries announced their intention to fosters stronger business and cultural links between them. A cultural exchange between Māori and the indigenous people of the Malaysian state of Sabah have been held in Kota Kinabalu. New Zealand also welcoming a group of 15 delegates from the Malaysian state of Sarawak government for a meeting held in April 2019 to share and discuss common indigenous interests and co-operation.
Under the Colombo Plan, a large numbers of Malaysian students have further continue their studies in New Zealand. New Zealand are working to attract more students from Malaysia as part of the country efforts to promote it as a first choice for foreign study. An arrangement on higher education co-operation was signed between the two countries in 2013. In 2019, further education relations are reinforce between New Zealand and the Malaysian state of Sarawak.
In 2014, a Malaysian diplomat named Mohammed Rizalman Ismail was arrested by the New Zealand Police and charged with burglary and assault with intent to rape after allegedly following a 21-year-old woman, Tania Billingsley to her home.
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