Pakistan enjoys cordial relations with countries in Southeast Asia both bilaterally and in the context of ASEAN as a Sectoral Dialogue Partner.
Pakistan-Indonesia relations are based on mutual trust and confidence and deeply rooted in history and culture. The two countries established diplomatic ties in 1950. The bilateral relationship is multidimensional and covers political, economic, trade, culture and defence cooperation. As two of the largest Islamic countries, Pakistan and Indonesia also cooperate on issues of concern to the Islamic countries including within the context of OIC.
Bilateral institutional mechanisms include: Joint Ministerial Commission, Joint Working Group on Combating International Terrorism (JWG), Indonesia-Pakistan Bilateral Consultations Forum (BCF), Policy Planning Dialogue, Security Dialogue and Pakistan-Indonesia Joint Defence Cooperation Committee (JDCC).
Indonesia is among the top 10 trading partners of Pakistan. The trade relations between the two countries have come a long way with Indonesia becoming the largest trading partner of Pakistan in ASEAN during the past few years. Total trade between Pakistan and Indonesia stood at 5,027 million USD in 2022. Major exports include ethanol, rice and denim fabric while major exports include palm oil, coal and auto-parts.
Pakistan-Malaysia relations are also rooted in history. Pakistan was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with Malaysia in 1957. Justice Abdul Hamid of Pakistan was member of the Commission responsible for drafting Malaysia’s constitution.
Pakistan and Malaysia relations are characterized by broad-based cooperation in trade and investment, agriculture, science and technology, defence, education, and tourism. The two countries have maintained high level political dialogue and exchanges. Pakistan and Malaysia share similar outlook on a range of global and regional issues and cooperate in multilateral forums and institutions including OIC, ASEAN, and Group of 77 and China.
Bilateral institutional mechanisms between Pakistan and Malaysia include: Joint Ministerial Commission, Bilateral Consultations, Joint Committee on Defence Cooperation and MPCEPA.
During 2022, bilateral trade between the two countries stood at US$ 1.723 billion. Major export items include rice and onions and major import commodities are palm oil, petroleum oil and saturated acyclic monocarboxylic acids
Pakistan and Thailand established diplomatic relations on 10th October 1951. The two countries have continuously sought to reinforce bilateral relations through deeper cooperation in trade, investment, education, science & technology, security, defence, culture, and tourism.
The socio-cultural linkages between Pakistan and Thailand can be traced back to ancient times of the Buddhist Gandhara heritage of Pakistan - with Taxila at its heart.
Bilateral institutional mechanisms: Joint Economic Commission (JEC) and Bilateral Political Consultations Mechanism.
Total trade between Pakistan and Thailand stands at US$ 2.15 billion. Major exports of Pakistan to Thailand include fisheries & sea food, petroleum condensate oil and textile while automobile/auto parts, chemical products and polymers of ethylene, propylene etc. in primary form constitute major imports from Thailand.
Official bilateral relations between Pakistan and the Philippines commenced with the establishment of the Philippines’ Consulate in Karachi on 9 September, 1949, followed by the opening of the Philippine Embassy in Karachi in 1956. Pakistan Embassy was opened in Manila in September 1957.
Pakistan and the Philippines have enjoyed multidimensional cooperation in range of areas in political, economic, commercial, defence, educational, cultural and social fields. Bilateral Consultation Talks and Joint Trade Commission are main institutional mechanisms for dialogue and engagement between Pakistan and Philippines.
The Philippines is Pakistan’s 4th largest trading Partner in ASEAN after Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. The bilateral trade stood at US $ 204.39 million in 2021-22 compared to USD 157.13 million in 2020-21. Top exports of Pakistan include undenatured ethyl alcohol, medicaments and citrus fruits while top imports consist of machines & electro mechanical parts, ferrous waster and scrap and fruits, nuts & other edible parts of plants.
Bilateral diplomatic relations were established on 9 February 1984 soon after the independence of Brunei. Brunei established its High Commission in Islamabad in 1992, while Pakistan set up its High Commission in Bandar Seri Begawan in 1985. Pakistan’s relations with Brunei are marked by cordiality, warmth and mutually beneficial cooperation. The two countries have similarity of views on important regional and international issues including in the context of OIC.
Bilateral institutional mechanisms: Pakistan-Brunei Joint Economic Commission; Pakistan-Brunei Joint Working Committee on Defence Cooperation; and Bilateral Political Consultations.
Pakistani community in Brunei consists mostly of professionals including teachers, doctors and businessmen.
On average, Pakistan’s annual exports to Brunei stand at US$ 2.32 million where annual imports from Brunei come to the tune of US$ 3.79 million. Major exports include textile products, vegetables and fruits and chemicals; while top imports from Brunei include coal and chemical inorganic compounds.
Pakistan enjoys good relations with Singapore, which were established on 17th August 1968. There have been several high-level visits between the two countries in recent years. The two countries also collaborate in the context of UN and ARF.
Institutional mechanisms: Bilateral Political Consultations – First round of consultations was held in 2022.
Bilateral trade volume stood at US $ 981 million during the FY 2021-22. Major exports to Singapore consist of crude petroleum and onions while Pakistan primarily imports refined petroleum and scented mixtures and vessel scrap material.
Vietnam and Pakistan formally established diplomatic relations on 8 November 1972. The relations are characterized by mutual respect and mutually beneficial cooperation. Bilateral cooperation extends widely and includes economic and commercial fields, education, science and technology and cultural exchanges. Both countries have exchanged several high-level visits during past decades. There is increasing engagement in the fields of Aviation, Crime prevention, tourism, diplomacy, sports, and cultural cooperation between the two countries.
Bilateral institutional mechanisms: Joint Trade Commission; Joint Ministerial Commission; and Bilateral Political Consultations.
The bilateral trade has almost tripled from $331 million in 2013-14 to $907 million in 2021-22. Major exports of Pakistan to Vietnam consist of maize (corn), leather prepared after tanning and woven fabrics of cotton while major imports from Vietnam are small electronics primarily mobile phones, synthetic filament yarn and natural rubber.
Pakistan was amongst the first few countries which recognized Myanmar immediately after its independence in 1948. Diplomatic relations were established the same year when Pakistan also opened the Embassy. Bilateral trade between the two countries stands at US $19 million. Major trade products are minerals, beans and pulses, garments and pharmaceuticals.
Under Pakistan’s CLMV Assistance Program and Technical Assistance Programme (PTAP), electronic equipments are provided to Myanmar. In addition, capacity-building courses are offered in the field of banking, postal services, railways and diplomacy.
Pakistan was amongst the first countries to recognize the independence of the Kingdom of Cambodia. Formal diplomatic relations between Pakistan and Cambodia were established on 28th May 1952. Relations between Pakistan and Cambodia have remained friendly and cooperative over the years. Former Prime Minister Zafarullah Jamali paid the first-ever official visit to Cambodia from 27-29 April 2004 at the invitation of his Cambodian counterpart. Invitation to the Cambodian. Recently, foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari visited Cambodia from 04-07 August 2022 to attend the 29thASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) ministerial meeting. Total trade between the two countries stands at US $ 40 Million. Major trade items are pharmaceuticals, garments and leather products.
Under Pakistan’s CLMV Assistance Program and Technical Assistance Programme (PTAP), electronic equipments are provided to Cambodia. In addition, capacity building courses are offered in the field of banking, postal services, railways and diplomacy.
Pakistan and the Lao PDR established diplomatic relations on 15 July 1965. The Embassy of Pakistan in Hanoi is accredited to Lao PDR. Bilateral Political Consultations is the most important institutional mechanism that exists between Pakistan and Lao PDR for furthering relations between the two countries.
Total bilateral trade between Pakistan and Lao PDR stands at 948,734 US $ in the FY 2021-2022. Major trade items are appliances, paper products and medical supplies.
Under Pakistan’s CLMV Assistance Program and Technical Assistance Programme (PTAP), electronic equipments are provided to Lao PDR. In addition, capacity building courses are offered in the field of banking, postal services, railways and diplomacy.