During German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s three-day official visit to Malaysia in February 2023, he praised Malaysia as a prime destination to diversify businesses, citing that over 700 German companies operate in Malaysia, many of which run production plants and export the goods manufactured there worldwide. Malaysia is also increasingly being used by German companies as a regional hub for Southeast Asia and beyond.
Malaysia is Germany’s principal trading partner among the ASEAN countries. In 2022, bilateral trade was worth EUR 18.6 billion. According to Steinmeier, Malaysia has become a key economic partner for Germany, and Germany is keen to expand the successful cooperation. Bosch, Beckhoff Automation, Infineon, Mercedes-Benz, and Siemens are among the leading German companies in Malaysia. German businesses have begun diversifying their manufacturing and supply chain operations in the country, creating around 65,000 job opportunities for the local population.
Regarding cultural cooperation, the focus is on higher education, with 114 cooperation agreements between German and Malaysian universities, including universities of applied sciences. Around 1500 young Malaysians – many of them on Malaysian government scholarships – are studying at German universities. In addition, there are an increasing number of double-degree programs leading to degrees that are recognized in both Germany and Malaysia. This has also led to an increase in the number of German guest students in Malaysia.
(Sources: Germany Federal Foreign Office; News Straits Times; Free Malaysia Today)