High Commissioner Julia Bentley

Message from the High Commissioner

Julia BentleyIt is a great honour to be appointed as Canada’s 22nd High Commissioner to Malaysia, and to take up this role in this 60th anniversary year of the independence of this unique country, and also the 60th anniversary of Canada-Malaysia relations.

As trading nations, Canada and Malaysia have extensive ties in trade and investment. There is much potential for our partnership to grow through trade, investment, science, technology and education. More than 80,000 Malaysians have pursued educational opportunities in Canada. They serve as ambassadors for promoting Canada’s world-class education system for the enrichment of the youth of Malaysia and to meet the needs of the Malaysian economy.

Canada and Malaysia share many common characteristics, none more so than the diversity of our populations, including vibrant indigenous communities. This diversity has enriched our societies and our cultures, as have the rule of law and good governance. Canadians take pride in valuing tolerance and openness – to people, to trade and investment, to culture, innovation and ideas. This engagement with the world has helped define who we are and what we stand for as Canadians. I look forward to exploring new ways for Canadians and Malaysians to share experiences and to learn from one another.

Through defence and security cooperation that dates back to the 1960s we have joined together to confront transnational threats, such as terrorism.  Peacekeeping training is an important areas of collaboration between our military  forces. Another is joint training by our Special Forces to strengthen capacity to mitigate chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats.

Distant though our two nations may be geographically, globalization has brought us closer together.  We have shared interests in closer collaboration on important global and regional issues, such as North Korean nuclear proliferation and the crisis affecting the Rohingya community in Myanmar. We also share common cause in combatting climate change and protecting the environment to ensure the livelihoods and well-being of our future generations.

As a Pacific nation, Canada cherishes its relations with ASEAN countries like Malaysia. We look forward to expanding our dialogue and engagement with Malaysia through multilateral fora such as ASEAN, APEC, the United Nations and the Commonwealth.

Our nations can build upon this strong foundation and work together to confront the challenges of the next 60 years in order to achieve our shared vision of a better, cleaner, more sustainable and secure world for future generations.

I hope that you will find this website helpful, whether you are a Canadian planning to visit or already living here or you are a Malaysian interested in studying, visiting or doing business in Canada. Feel free to also consult our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CanadaMalaysia/ or follow our Twitter postings at @CanadaMalaysia for the most up-to-date information on upcoming events and initiatives. 

Julia Bentley
High Commissioner

Biography

Julia Bentley (BA [East Asian Studies], Princeton University, 1981; post-graduate diploma [modern Chinese history], Nanjing University, 1983; MA [East Asian Studies], University of Toronto, 1984) joined the Department of External Affairs in 1991.

At headquarters, she has worked in the Asia Pacific Regional Coordination Division, and the International Economic Relations and Summits Division. She has served as Director of the Northeast Asia and South Asia Relations Divisions, and as Acting Director General of the South Asia Bureau. Overseas, she has served in Taiwan, India and twice China. She has also worked as a development consultant in Montreal, Singapore and Beijing, and for three years as director of Winrock International’s NGO Capacity Building Program in China, funded by the Ford Foundation.

Prior to joining the foreign service, she worked as an international policy advisor for the Ontario Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs for five years.