Malaysia recognized the Independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan on 1 January 1992 and established diplomatic relations on 21 February 1992.
On 5 July 2018, the Ambassador of the Republic of Uzbekistan to Malaysia H.E. Ravshan Usmanov presented credentials to King Sultan Muhammad V, in Istana Negara palace, Kuala Lumpur. In his turn, the Ambassador of Malaysia to Uzbekistan H.E. Ambassador Hendy Assan presented his credentials to the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan H.E. Mr. Shavkat Mirziyoyev on 6 September 2018.
The foundation for development of friendly relations and mutually beneficial cooperation was laid during the exchanges of Official Visits of the late President the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov in 1992 and Prime Minister of Malaysia Mahathir Mohammad in 1993. In 2003 the King of Malaysia His Majesty Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Syed Putra Jamalullail paid a visit to Uzbekistan.
Main events in the development of bilateral relations at the contemporary stage were the State Visit to Malaysia in October 2005 and reciprocal visit of the Prime Minister Ahmad Badawi in November 2008, where a number of intergovernmental agreements in the prospective areas of mutual cooperation were signed.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education of Malaysia Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd. Yassin paid a visit to Uzbekistan in 2014. In the framework of the visit he had productive meetings with the Prime Minister and other members of Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
The delegation of Malaysia led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Anifa Aman took part in the 43rd session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC Foreign Ministers Council) on 18-19 October 2016 (Tashkent).
On 7-9 May 2018 Deputy Secretary of the Security Council of Uzbekistan – Director of the Institute of Strategic and Interregional Studies under the President of Uzbekistan Vladimir Norov participated in the 32nd Asia-Pacific Roundtable “Disruption: People, Technology, Power and Security” in Kuala Lumpur. Within the framework of this event, memorandums of cooperation were signed with the Institute of Strategic and International Studies and Asian Institute of Strategy and Leadership of Malaysia.
On 4 December 2020, an online conference was held on the topic “Uzbekistan and Malaysia: prospects for bilateral cooperation at the present stage”, organized by the Institute for Strategic and Interregional Studies under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan together with the Institute for Strategic and International Studies of Malaysia.
On 18-21 October 2019 the Deputy Foreign Minister of Malaysia Dato Marzuki Yahya visited Uzbekistan. Malaysian delegation held meetings in Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Investments and Foreign Trade and Finance.
The high-level Delegation of Uzbekistan, consisting of Advisor to the President Rustam Kasymov and Deputy Prime Minister Elyor Ganiev, participated in the Kuala Lumpur Summit “The Role of Development in Achieving National Sovereignty” on 18 – 21 December 2019 in Malaysia. In the framework of this event the Delegation of Uzbekistan met with the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohammed. The parties noted their commitment to further building up multifaceted cooperation in the political, trade, economic, investment and cultural-humanitarian spheres.
The political consultations between the Foreign Ministries serve as an important mechanism to promote relations, the last – fourth round of which was held in September 2019 in Tashkent.
Inter-parliamentary ties have been gradually developing. In particular, in 2006 and 2009 Speakers of the Lower Chamber of Malaysian Parliament Ramli bin Ngah Talib and Pandikar Mulia visited Uzbekistan. The visit of the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Parliament of Malaysia Datuk Wan Zhunaydi Tuanku Zhaafar visited Uzbekistan in March 2012.
In April 2010 the Speaker of the Legislative Chamber of Oliy Majlis Dilorom Tashmuhamedova paid a visit to Malaysia.
In February 2013, the Chairman of Senate of Oliy Majlis Ilgizar Sabirov paid a visit to Malaysia. Reciprocal visit of the President of Senate of Malaysian Parliament Abu Zahar Ujang to Uzbekistan was organized on October 2013.
On 20-25December 2019 Malaysian delegation led by Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives (Dewan Rakyat) Mohd Rashid bin Hasnon visited Uzbekistan. The program of the visit included meetings with the leadership of the Senate and the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan, a number of ministries and agencies to discuss prospects for further development of bilateral relations in Tashkent.
Malaysian delegation attended the parliamentary elections as international observers and visited Imam al-Bukhari Memorial Complex in Samarkand.
In 2020 the Interparliamentary Friendship Groups have been established in the House of Representatives of the Parliament of Malaysia and Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis (Parliament) of Uzbekistan.
Also, in June 2020 was held the first Inter-parliamentary Forum on “Development of parliamentarism: The experience of Uzbekistan and Malaysia” under the chairmanship of the First Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan Akmal Saidov and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Parliament of Malaysia Mohd Rashid bin Hasnon.
On 19 November 2020 Professor Dato’ Noor Aziah Mohd Awal, Children’s Commissioner of SUHAKAM Malaysia participated with comprehensive speech at the International Web Forum “Children’s Right to Education: Relevance, Continuity and Innovation in a Pandemic”, timed to the World Children’s Day, organized by the International Public Fund “Zamin” together with UNICEF.
On 10 December 2020, a virtual signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was held between the National Centre of the Republic of Uzbekistan for Human Rights and the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM).
Trade and economic cooperation
From October 31 to November 2, 2018, Malaysian business delegation led by the head of the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) visited Uzbekistan. A number of meetings were organized in relevant ministries and organizations of Uzbekistan, including with the leadership of the State Committee on Investment and Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
According to the State Committee on Statistics of Uzbekistan, bilateral trade between two countries in 2020 accounted for $75,76 mln., including export from Uzbekistan – $11,7 mln.
Founded in 2005 Uzbek-Malaysian Joint Trade Committee plays a significant role in developing trade and economic relations. The second meeting was held on 20 October 2009 in Tashkent.
In the frame of the visit of the business delegates headed by MATRDE to Uzbekistan in October 2019, it was held a launching ceremony of opening MATRADE’s Trade Office in Tashkent at the Malaysian Embassy in Uzbekistan.
On 8 September 2020 it was held a very comprehensive and productive virtual meeting between H.E. Dr. Sardor Umurzakov, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of International Trade and Investments of the Republic of Uzbekistan and H.E. Y.B. Dato' Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, Senior Minister, Minister of International Trade and Industry of Malaysia.
In the frame of the event, it was covered a wide spectrum of topics and deep dived into several key areas for the enhancement of Malaysia-Uzbekistan trade ties. The Parties reaffirmed that there are more opportunities for Malaysia and Uzbekistan to work together, acknowledging the need to enhance trade between the two countries. It was agreed to revive the Malaysia-Uzbekistan Join Trade Committee Meeting. Malaysian side agreed to the proposal by H.E. Dr. Sardor Umurzakov to immediately form the Malaysia-Uzbekistan Business Council. The discussion also touched on the prospect of setting up a travel and tourism bubble between Malaysia and Uzbekistan, considering the success of both countries in dealing with COVID-19 spread.
There are 31 enterprises, including 21 with 100 percent Malaysian share, in oil & gas, textile, furniture, electrotechnical products, financial & tourism services and other areas, operating in Uzbekistan with the share of Malaysian investors.
Cooperation in the sphere of tourism
Tourism is one of the key areas of cooperation between Uzbekistan and Malaysia. On 23-27 April 2015 Minister of Tourism and Culture of Malaysia Dato Seri Mohammed Nazri bin Abdul Aziz visited Uzbekistan in order to develop bilateral cooperation in the spheres of tourism and culture.
The Chairman of the State Committee of Tourism of the Republic of Uzbekistan Anvar Sharapov paid a visit to Malaysia on April 2017.
On 21-23 February 2019 Mufti of Perlis State, leadership of the Islamic Tourism Center, Institute of Halal Research and Management, Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents, as well as largest travel agency “TH Travel” participated in the First International Forum on "Ziyorat" Tourism in Bukhara, Uzbekistan.
In February 2019 State Committee for Tourism Development of Uzbekistan appointed mufti of Perlis Dr. Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin, more known as Dr. Maza, as the Islamic Tourism Ambassador of Uzbekistan and in April 2019 rising star and promising actor Daler Yusuf as was give the title of Tourism Ambassador of Uzbekistan.
On 11-12 March 2019 Minister of Culture of the Republic of Uzbekistan Bakhtier Saifullayev visited Malaysia in order to establish cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture of Malaysia, Malaysian Institute of Art and Islamic Art Museum of Malaysia.
On 24-26 June 2019 Delegation headed by the Head of Department for Coordination of Tourism Security (Tourism Police) of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Uzbekistan visited Malaysia in order to study the best practices in the field of ensuring security at transport and tourism facilities in Malaysia.
On 31 October – 7 November 2019 the Second Naqshbandiya Tourist Festival was organized in Bukhara, Uzbekistan. The event was attended by over 250 followers of the Naqshbandi Sufi tariqah from all over the world.
On 13-15 November 2019 Malaysian delegation, headed by Deputy Director of the Tourism Malaysia participation of the in the 25th Anniversary Tashkent International Tourism Fair.
On 25-26 November 2019 a number of fashion events took place in Kuala Lumpur, with the participation of the talented and promising Uzbek designer Kamola Rustamova, known as Azucar Moreno. This fashion events took place under the patronage of the famous Malaysian fashion designer Jimmy Choo.
On 22 November 2019, Uzbekistan was awarded the title of "The Best Destitution in Asia with a Rich Historical Heritage" based on the results Malaysian media company "Research House of Asia Media". The award was presented by the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture of Malaysia, H.E. Tuan Muhammad Bakhtiar Bin Wan Chik.
On 11 November 2019 world famous Malaysian chef Chef Wan and leading travel company Apple Vacations Sdn Bhd signing an Agreement on cooperation in promoting tourism potential, cultural and historical heritage of Uzbekistan.
Mass media plays an important role in promoting tourism and culture of Uzbekistan and Malaysia in our countries. In this regards, we closely collaborating with BERNAMA, RTM, TV AlHijrah and Astro, as well as private media and film companies. Currently, we are working on few joint Uzbek-Malaysian TV projects, which filming will take place in historical sightseeings of Uzbekistan.
In 2020, despite the current situation with the coronavirus pandemic in the world, Embassy regularly carries out targeted work to promote the “ziyorat tourism” (religious tourism) of Uzbekistan in Malaysia. For these purposes, meetings were held with the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Minister on Religious Affairs in the Prime Minister's Department, Director General of Islamic Tourism Center and Secretary General of Ministry of Tourism of Malaysia, as well as heads of major Malaysian travel companies.
As a result of the negotiations, agreements were reached on strengthening cooperation, organizing webinars and advanced training courses for representatives of Uzbek tourism industry, holding joint spiritual and educational events, implementing joint projects in the field of the halal industry and etc.
In addition, Uzbek diplomatic mission is actively working to promote the tourist image of Uzbekistan as a safe country for the health of tourists and guests during the pandemic under the slogan “Uzbekistan. Safe Travel Guaranteed” through the in social networks and personal accounts of the Tourism Ambassadors Uzbekistan in Malaysia, as well as by attracting famous actors, TV hosts, designers, bloggers and influencers.
On 30 November 2020 Embassy have organized VС between Deputy Chairman of the State Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan for Tourism Development H.E. Mr. Ulugbek Azamov and Secretary General of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture of Malaysia H.E. Dato’ Dr. Noor Zari Hamat on exchange of measures to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on tourism sector and of experience in increasing tourist attractiveness.
Cooperation in the sphere of education
In February 2020 Republican Graduate School of Business and Management (Uzbekistan) signed МоUs with International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF) and Putra Business School.
On 4 June 2020 Islamic research institutions of Uzbekistan and Institute of Islamic Understanding of Malaysia (IKIM) signed a number of Memorandums of Understanding on cooperation in conducting studies on Muslim scientific heritage and enlightened Islam, holding joint conferences, seminars and studies on ancient manuscripts stored in Uzbekistan, organizing continuing education courses for faculty and staff, as well as student exchange.
In December 2020 first Malaysian university in Uzbekistan - Binary International University (BIU) was established in Urgench City of Khorezm Region. BIU was established in collaboration with the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan and Malaysian Binary University of Management and Entrepreneurship. Students from Uzbekistan and surrounding Central Asian countries can pursue contemporary programmes that will enable them to acquire high quality education, industry-relevant skills and embrace entrepreneurship skills.
On 28 December 2020 Karakalpak State University named after Berdakh and City University Malaysia have signed an MoU on cooperation in implementation of academic programs, organization of training courses for staff of Uzbek university, student exchange, conducting conferences and seminars, joint research, as well as publication of scientific articles and works.
Within the Malaysian Technical Cooperation Program (MTCP), representatives of ministries and agencies of Uzbekistan participates in various short-term courses and seminars in Malaysia. As of 2020, approximately 653 Uzbek specialists trained under MTCP.
Currently, around 200 students from Uzbekistan are studying in various Malaysian higher education institutions.