KUALA LUMPUR: Trade ties and investments between the Republic of China (Taiwan) and Malaysia have risen steadily, thanks to Malaysia’s sound infrastructure, market openness and multilingual workforce.

Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Malaysia Representative Anne Hung said that last year, trade between the two countries chalked up an impressive 13.21% growth to reach a record US$19.86 billion (RM83.36 billion).

In terms of investments, Hung said, about 1,700 Taiwanese companies have already invested in Malaysia and they have contributed to Malaysia’s economic output, job creation and technology upgrade.

“Both countries have maintained a strong and close bilateral relationship in many areas, being important trade and investment partners and recognising each other’s potential to forge strategic alliances,” she said at a reception to mark the 108th National Day of the republic here.

Hung said Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy (NSP) has not only enabled Taiwan to share its experience and resources in the fields of economics, trade and soft infrastructure with its neighbours, but also fostered a community in which countries benefit and enjoy growth together.

“The robust cultural and educational connections between the two sides laid the foundation for broader expansion in people-to-people ties under NSP. Among Asean countries, Malaysia is Taiwan’s largest source of not just students, but also tourists, which demonstrates the strength of our bilateral exchanges,” she said.

She added that there are other areas such as agriculture, healthcare, and waste management for further collaboration between Taiwan and Malaysia as Taiwan is renowned for its development in these areas.