Malaysia–Sweden relations

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Sweden–Malaysia relations
Map indicating locations of Sweden and Malaysia



Diplomatic relations between Sweden and Malaysia were established in 1958.[1] Sweden has an embassy in Kuala Lumpur, and Malaysia has an embassy in Stockholm. As of 2009, 90 Swedish companies are present in Malaysia and about 450 Swedish citizens live in Malaysia.[2] In 2011, 44,138 Swedish nationals visited Malaysia.[3]

Bilateral agreements[edit]

Malaysia and Sweden have in place a bilateral agreement concerning the mutual protection of investments signed at Kuala Lumpur on 3 March 1979.[4][5] There is an agreement between the Government of the Kingdom of Sweden and the Government of Malaysia for Air Services between and beyond their respective territories, signed at Kuala Lumpur on 19 October 1967.[6] The countries also have in place a bilateral agreement for the avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.[7]

Kidnapping and imprisonment[edit]

In 1975, members of the Japanese Red Army kidnapped Swedish Chargé d'Affaires Fredrik Bergenstråhle and his secretary Ulla Ödqvist in Kuala Lumpur.[8] One of the Malaysian officials, Tan Sri Osman S. Cassim, was later awarded the insignia of Commander of the Royal Order of the Polar Star by Sweden for his actions during the rescue.[9][10]

In 2014, the Stockholm director of the Malaysian tourist board and his wife were held in custody for over a month, and their four children allocated to non-Muslim foster parents, after the couple were accused of using corporal punishment on their 12-year-old son for refusing to say his prayers. The practice is outlawed in Sweden.[11]

Economic relations[edit]

Between January and July 2012, bilateral trade stood at 2 billion MYR, increased from the trade at 1.9 billion MYR between January and June 2011[3] In September 2012, Malaysian Ambassador to Sweden, Datuk Badruddin Ab Rahman, said about 120 Swedish companies operate in Malaysia, with an investment of more than 10 million MYR, however there are no Malaysian companies operating in Sweden.[3] The Malaysian embassy in Sweden makes programmes to attract Swedish businesses to Malaysia such as a briefing on investment opportunities in Malaysia.[3]

In 2006, Swedish exports to Malaysia totalled approximately 1.6 billion MYR and the imports from Malaysia approximately 0.7 billion MYR. Swedish exports to Malaysia consist of telecommunication equipment, motor vehicles, chemical products, power generating machinery and equipment, machines, paper, as well as iron ore and steel. Swedish imports from Malaysia electronics and electrical components, machinery and apparatus, textiles, palm oil and raw rubber.[12][13]

Volvo operates a wholly owned subsidiary in Malaysia that manufactures trucks.[14] Until 2016, Swedish investors have recorded 90 manufacturing projects worth US$729.19 million in Malaysia and generated 5,800 jobs at various levels.[15]


In 2000, the Swedish Navy agreed to loan four assault boats to Defence Minister Najib Razak to "beef up security" in waters off Malaysia's state of Sabah.[16]

State visits[edit]

In 2005, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King) Sirajuddin of Perlis of Malaysia and Raja Permaisuri Agong (Queen) Tengku Fauziah of Perlis visited Sweden.[2][17]


  1. ^ "National Day Of Sweden Celebrations In Malaysia". Retrieved 5 June 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "H.E. Helena Sångeland: Swedish Ambassador to Malaysia". Retrieved 6 June 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Direct Flights Can Boost Malaysia-Sweden Trade Relations, Says Envoy". Bernama. 16 September 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  4. ^ Text of the treaty in Swedish, Malay and English
  5. ^ Bilateral investment treaties, By Rudolf Dolzer, Margrete Stevens, International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes
  6. ^ Agreement between the European Community and the Government of Malaysia on certain aspects of air services
  7. ^ Lang, Michael (2001). Tax treaty interpretation. Kluwer Law International. ISBN 90-411-9857-1. 
  8. ^ "Terrorists' Jet Lands in Libya". St. Petersburg Times. 8 August 1975. Retrieved 6 June 2009. 
  9. ^ His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden awards Malaysian citizen Tan Sri Osman S. Cassim the Royal Order of the Polar Star
  10. ^ "Former sec-gen receives Swedish royal order for his brave feat in 1975". The Star. 7 May 2009. Retrieved 6 June 2009. 
  11. ^ "Bid to free Muslim son-smack parents". London Evening Standard. 23 January 2014. p. 28. 
  12. ^ "Trade with Malaysia". Sweden. Retrieved 11 June 2009. 
  13. ^ "Malaysia, Sweden trade on the rise.". New Straits Times. 7 September 1995. Retrieved 5 June 2009. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Swedish firms invest RM2.43 billion in Malaysia so far". Bernama. The Borneo Post. 21 April 2017. Retrieved 23 April 2017. 
  16. ^ "Malaysia Approves Loan". AsiaPulse News. 23 October 2000. Retrieved 6 June 2009. 
  17. ^ "King Syed Sirajuddin And Queen Fauziah On Official Visit". Getty Images. 7 March 2005. Retrieved 6 June 2009.