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6th Joint Commission Meeting Held Between India and Malaysia

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia, YB Dato’ Seri Diraja Dr Zambry Abd Kadir, was on a working visit to New Delhi, India, from November 6–7, 2023. He co-chaired the 6th Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) along with Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. S. Jaishankar on November 7, 2023. A Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) between India and Malaysia was held on November 6 in preparation for the JCM. The meeting was co-chaired by Secretary (East), Shri Saurabh Kumar, and H.E. Mr. Ahmad Rozian Abd Ghani, Deputy Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia. Zambry Abdul Kadir’s visit is aimed at strengthening the enhanced strategic partnership between the two countries.

Agenda of the JCM:

Areas of political, defense, security, economic, trade and investment, health, science and technology, tourism, culture, and people-to-people ties are among the mutual interests of both countries that share a long history of cooperation. Regional and multilateral issues of cooperation have also been discussed in the JCM. The visit and JCM are of prime importance as they undertook the signing of various agreements, some of which are:

  1. Memorandum of Understanding regarding Cooperation in Broadcasting between Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) and India’s Prasar Bharti
  2. Exchange of Notes between the Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations (IDFR) and Sushma Swaraj Institute of Foreign Service (SSIFS) on cooperation in the Field of Training of Diplomats; and
  3. Letter of Intent between Southeast Asia Regional Centre for Counter-Terrorism (SEARCCT) and Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA) pertaining to Cooperation in the Field of Academic Research.

Apart from that, issues in ASEAN countries, the Indo-Pacific, and West Asia were also discussed. According to Dr. Jaishankar’s post on the social media platform X, the meeting successfully reviewed the two countries’ progress on matters related to “political, defence & security, trade and finance, health, energy, education, maritime cooperation, culture, tourism, and people-to-people cooperation.”

India and Malayasia share a long history of bilateral cooperation and cultural and economic relations. In 2022, India will be Malaysia’s 11th largest trading partner, with the total trade value being USD 19.63 billion. In turn, Malaysia is India’s third-largest trading partner in ASEAN. In the JCM, the two parties took stock not only of existing areas of bilateral cooperation but also of new ones like renewable energy, the digital arena, space, and semiconductors.

This was the first visit of H.E. Zambry Abd Kadir to India in the capacity of the Minister of Foreign Affairs. His itinerary also included a meeting with Vice President Shri Jagdeep Dhankar. This visit holds utmost significance for both countries as it will strengthen existing ties between Malaysia and India and explore further options for bilateral relations.