The first-ever visit of a German chancellor to Malaysia came about when the then Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahathir bin Mohamad, invited the Chancellor of Germany at that time, Gerhard Schröder, to visit the country in March 2002.
In May 2005, the previous Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, travelled to Germany for political and economic talks with Schröder. This meeting enabled Germany to have an important partner in the Muslim world.
Other top-level bilateral meetings were talks held by the Federal Chancellor on the sidelines of the ASEM summit in Hanoi, Vietnam on October 2004 with Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and the brief visit to Kuala Lumpur by Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer in February 2005.
Germany imports electrical products, office machinery, edible and industrial fats and oils, rubber products, primary chemical products from Malaysia, and exports machinery, motor vehicles and aircraft, hardware and pharmaceutical products to the country.
In 2001, there were over 70,400 tourist arrivals from Germany in Malaysia, which is the second largest number of tourist arrivals in Malaysia from Europe after the United Kingdom. This is out of the 12.8 million tourist arrivals recorded for 2001, which was a 25% increase from 2000.
Cultural links between Germany and Malaysia mainly exist in education and language. The Goethe-Institut, a German cultural institution, has a branch in Kuala Lumpur. There is also a Malaysian-German Society in Penang. German language courses are available in both places. Two state universities in Malaysia also offer bachelor's degree courses in German.
In higher education, about 30 co-operation agreements exist between German and Malaysian universities of applied sciences. As of present, over 700 Malaysians with government scholarships are studying at German universities, mainly in technical courses of study. The German Academic Exchange Service maintains its own information centre in Kuala Lumpur.
An English version of Deutsche Welle TV channel broadcasts on Hypp TV, an IPTV provider through the fibre-optic UniFi network by Telekom Malaysia. Previously, in the 2000s, several television programmes of Deutsche Welle were available on Astro, Malaysia's only satellite provider. There are also contacts in the music, theatre and film sectors. As part of co-operation between museums, Germany helped to fund a regional restoration centre in the Islamic Arts Museum.
There are also several German political foundations that support sociocultural, education and media projects in Malaysia. The Konrad Adenauer Foundation has an office in Kuala Lumpur and the Friedrich Naumann and Friedrich Ebert foundations are also active in the country.
- "German Embassies (im Malaysia)". Federal Foreign Office of Germany. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
- "Embassy of Malaysia (in Germany)". Foreign Office of Germany. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
- PDF (16.6 KB) Ministry of International Trade and Industry Malaysia. Retrieved on 1 September 2008.
- "Beziehungen zwischen Malaysia und Deutschland". Foreign Office (Germany). Retrieved 17 April 2014.