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SUDAN AND MALAYSIA have an excellent history of trade and cultural relations dated back to 1973. Diplomatic relations between Sudan and Malaysia were established in 1991 when Sudan was officially inaugurated its Embassy in Kuala Lumpur during an official visit of the former president of Sudan, Omer Elbashir to Malaysia, in line with the country’s foreign policy to boost its ties with South-South countries as well as the countries members of Islamic Cooperation Organization. While Malaysia had established its embassy in Khartoum 8 years later in 1999 after the entry of its (Petroliam Nasional Berhad), commonly known as (PETRONAS) to the oil sector in Sudan.
Malaysia has always been an excellent trade partner of Sudan specifically in petrol exploring and oil industry sectors (PETRONAS).The investment in Oil sector was Malaysia’s primary interest in Sudan. PETRONAS was a key partner in the exploration and production of oil in Sudan since its entry in 1995. PETRONAS, had had a 30-percent share of Sudan’s Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company as of the early 2000s, Malaysia was the second-largest shareholder in Sudan’s oil industry after China until the 2011. SUDAN exports to Malaysia are mostly agricultural products such as gum Arabic, hibiscus and sesame, while Malaysia major export to Sudan are palm oil, metal products and machinery.
Since the foundation of their diplomatic relations the two countries have signed a considerable bilateral agreements and Memorandum of Understanding to beef up areas of mutual cooperation, which consist, inter alia of: Avoidance of Double Taxation, Prevention of Fiscal Evasion, Promotion and Protection of Investments, defense and security and cultural exchange programs.
Bilateral relations between Sudan and Malaysia are cordial: both countries have interactions in various domains of economic, political, strategic, and cultural activities; and have cooperated on a sustained basis at various international fora. Sudan-Malaysia cooperation also has its international dimensions. Both country are common members of various fora such as the Non Aligned Movement (NAM), the Islamic cooperation organization (ICO)
In educational domain, Malaysia is considered one of the most attractive destination for Sudanese students who intend to study abroad, with 4200 Sudanese students currently studying in Malaysia. Malaysian Technical Cooperation Program. While less than 100 Malaysian enrolled for undergraduates study in Sudan, namely studying Arabic language and Islamic studies in the international university of Africa.
Based on its win-win foreign policy’s pillar and after been formally rescinded by The United States of America in December 2020 from the State Sponsor of Terrorism (SSTL) which was a real barrier for Sudan to fully integrated with the international financial institutions, Sudan is currently looking forward to achieve the highest performance of its bilateral relationships with Malaysia to an extent that could bring benefits for the two countries.
Regular exchange of high level of visits have been a significant tool to improve and strengthening bilateral relations, Sudan dignitaries visits to Malaysia started in 1991 when the former president Omer Elbashir had visited Malaysia for the first time, where an abundance number of agreements and MOUs had been signed to shore up bilateral ties as well as attending the inauguration of Sudan Embassy in Malaysia. Since then the president Elbashir had three visits to Malaysia the latest was in 2003 to participate in OIC summit. While Malaysia dignitaries’ visits to Sudan started in 1999 by Dr. Mahathir Mohammad, former prime minister, and 2007 by the then prime minister D. Abdulla Ahmed Badawi, where both of them had signed mutual agreements and expressed Malaysia willingness to expand and enhanced bilateral relationships forward