Charge d’Affaires ad interim Ahmad Fahmi bin Sarkawi of the Malaysian Embassy in Seoul, left, speaks during a recent interview ahead of the Malaysian Independence Day that falls on Aug. 31. Photo by Yeo Hong-il/Korea News Plus

Malaysia’s chief diplomat in Seoul touches upon the two countries’ relationship

Ever since South Korea forged a diplomatic relationship with Malaysia in 1960, the two countries have enjoyed a dynamic and mutually beneficial economic partnership over the past six decades.

Charge d’Affaires ad interim Ahmad Fahmi bin Sarkawi of the Malaysian Embassy in Seoul said that the bilateral relations could be further raised to greater heights.

In an interview ahead of Aug. 31 Independence Day of Malaysia, the diplomat also said that the Southeast Asian country is a good place to invest.

“The Republic of Korea has always been Malaysia’s top 10 major investors throughout the years. As of 2020, a total of 387 manufacturing projects with participation from Korea were implemented with total investments of $8 billion,” he said.

“Our policies continue to be pro-business, prudent, and pragmatic to create an environment that is safe, secure, and scalable for the long-term success of businesses here.”

Sarkawi took such examples of 100 percent equity ownership, competitive investment incentives, and intellectual property protection laws conforming to international standards.

He also invited South Korean travelers to Malaysia, which he said has so many tourist attractions. Sarkawi expected that cooperation between the two countries will resume in tourism after the virus pandemic comes under control.

“Collaborations between the two countries, especially people-to-people contact, have been very vibrant for the past decade. Previously before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Republic of Korea was the main tourist destination for Malaysians,” the diplomat said.

“The same can be said for Malaysia, as Korean tourists to Malaysia increased exponentially during the past few years. In 2019 alone, 673,000 Korean tourists visited Malaysia while 408,000 Malaysian tourists visited the Republic of Korea.”

Sarkawi also expressed his gratitude to the Korean government for helping Malaysia deal with the threats of the coronavirus.