Moais Isla de Pascua, Chile
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Bilateral Relations

Chile and Malaysia established diplomatic relations in 1979. The Resident Embassy of Chile in Malaysia was opened in 1989.

There is a precedent of great importance in the bilateral relations, namely the huge convergence of political interests that existed in the early 90s between the two governments on Pacific Basin matters (PBEC, PECC), Non Aligned Movement, emerging economies, South-South Cooperation, and especially in Malaysia's strong support to Chile's entry into APEC.

The first Ambassador of Chile in this country was Mr. Jaime Lagos E., from 1990 to 1994. Since then, Ambassadors to Malaysia have been Mr. Octavio Errázuriz G. (1994-1997), Mr. Pedro Undurraga (1997-2000), Mr. Roberto Ibarra (2000-2004) and Mr. Patricio Torres (2004-July 08). The current Ambassador of Chile to Malaysia is Mr. José Manuel Ovalle B.

The economic-commercial relationship outstood since the early 90s for its dynamism in promoting South-South cooperation effectively through mutual investment. Thus, Malaysia created the "Malaysia South South Corp." (MASSCORP) and became the first Southeast Asian country to set up a regional hub for South America in Santiago, with the purchase of Tajamar Building (US$ 7 million), the promotion of Malaysia-South America air route and the joint participation with Chilean entrepreneurs in infrastructure projects in Chile, Argentina and Colombia. Chile, meanwhile, developed joint ventures in shipbuilding through ASMAR (a tanker and two tugboats were built in Kuching) and set up another in safety footwear industries with Malaysia in this country and others in the region. Also, the first Malaysian cars (Proton Saga) were exported to Chile. The process of commercial economic approach has also demonstrated the utility of legal mechanisms to resolve differences over business matters, reinforcing the climate of confidence, which is reflected in the mutual interest in signing a FTA. Trading now exceeds US$ 240 million.

Latest high-level visits

Chilean authorities to Malaysia:

  • January 2006: Official visit of the then Foreign Minister, Mr. Ignacio Walker.
  • September 2006: Visit of the Undersecretary of Investigations, Ricardo Navarrete.
  • January 2007: Visit of the then President of Universidad de Santo Tomas, Mr. Gerardo Rocha to hold meetings with officials from local universities.
  • March 2007: Working visit to Malaysia from the Director of the Chilean Antarctic Institute, Mr. José Retamales. On the occasion, he participated in the 3rd Malaysian International Seminar on Antarctica and signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Antarctic cooperation between INACH (Institute of National Antarctic Research of Chile) and Academy of Sciences of Malaysia.
  • June 2007: Visit of the Director of International Economic Relations (DIRECON), Mr. Carlos Furche, heading the Chilean delegation that participated in the first round of negotiations for a FTA between the two countries.
  • August 2007: Official visit of the Commander-in-Chief of the Chilean Navy, Admiral Rodolfo Codina. The agenda included visits to major naval bases, meetings and workshops.

Visits from Malaysian authorities to Chile:

  • November 2004: Prime Minister Badawi visited Chile to attend the APEC Leaders Meeting held in Santiago.
  • November 2006: Visit of the Vice President of the Senate of Malaysia, Dato'Wong Foon Meng.
  • January 2008: Working visit to Chile of chief Admiral of the Royal Malaysian Navy, Tan Sri Ramlan Mohammed Ali.