Malaysia was among the first countries, which recognized Ukraine's independence. On the 3rd of March both countries celebrate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the bilateral diplomatic relationship.
For the past years the political interaction between Ukraine and Malaysia has been established and strengthened. The important elements in this connection were the official visit of the Prime-minister of Malaysia Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad to Ukraine, as well as the meeting between the President of Ukraine H.E. Mr. Viktor Yushenko and the Prime-minister of Malaysia Tun Abdula Badawi. Significant impetus the bilateral political relations have received after the opening of the Embassy of Ukraine in Malaysia in 2002 and the Embassy of Malaysia in Ukraine in 2004. During the recent meeting between the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Mr. Konstantyn Gryshenko and the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Malaysia Mr. Anifah Aman, both sides agreed to exchange the official visits in the nearest feature.
Ukraine and Malaysia enjoy warm and friendly bilateral relations. Over the past years the Ukrainian-Malaysian collaboration has been developing successfully, especially in trade and economic areas. In particular, the volume of bilateral trade between the two countries for 20 years increased by 9 times.
Today, in terms of bilateral trade with Malaysia, Ukraine is the second country after Russia among the countries of Eastern Europe and the CIS. Ukraine has become one of the major importers of the Malaysian palm oil in the world and the largest in the Central and Eastern Europe. At the same time, the bilateral cooperation in the chemical, steel and agricultural industries is strengthening from year to year.
It should be also noted the meaning bilateral cooperation in high technologies and scientific spheres. Ukraine is one of the very few countries that can design and manufacture not only its own satellites but also rocket launchers. Two Malaysian satellites “TiungSAT-1” and “MEASAT-1” were launched by Ukrainian rockets. There are also good perspectives for the implementation of the bilateral projects in shipbuilding and aviation, as well as in the energy sector.
What is very important that during the last 20 years the people to people contacts between two countries have been developing and strengthening. In particular, Ukraine and Malaysia have good experience of cooperation in higher education. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations the Ukrainian universities educated over 2,000 highly qualified Malaysian professionals. The most Ukrainian universities provide education in English for very reasonable prices. The specialists educated in Ukraine have been traditionally valued highly abroad.
The cooperation in tourism is also a promising segment of bilateral relations. Malaysia annually received more than 3,000 Ukrainian tourists. Meanwhile, Ukraine, as a very attractive European tourist country, has much to offer Malaysian tourists from the ski resorts and luxurious beaches of the Black Sea to the green tourism and unique sanatoriums for patients suffering respiratory diseases in a salt mines.
In order to further promote tourism development in the country, since September 10, 2011 the Government of Ukraine considerably simplified visa procedure for Malaysian citizens. Meanwhile, it is worth mentioning that the negotiation process on partial abolition of visa requirements with Malaysia has been also started.
Therefore, the dynamic development of the bilateral relations between Ukraine and Malaysia during the last 20 years proves the existence of promising perspectives for further multifaceted cooperation between the two countries in the future.