Malaysia-China trade sets new record in 2019

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on January 21, 2020.

(From left) CECCM president Zhang Min, InvestKL chairman Datuk Seri Michael Yam, ACCCIM president Tan Sri Ter Leong Yap, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Darell Leiking, InvestKL chief executive officer (CEO) Muhammad Azmi Zulkifli, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, MCBC CEO Teng Kok Liang, Bai and MCCC president Datuk Tan Yew Sing at the signing ceremony in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. Photo by Patrick Goh

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KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysia-China bilateral trade has hit a new record high, rising to US$124 billion (RM503 billion) in 2019, said China’s ambassador to Malaysia Bai Tian.

Citing Chinese customer statistics, Bai said this is a 14.2% increase over the 2018 figure of US$108.66 billion.

China remains Malaysia’s largest trading partner, followed by Singapore and the US.

Bai said the growth reflected Chinese investors’ continuous support and confidence in Malaysia following a 45-year long-standing bilateral relationship.

“When our investors come to Malaysia, they would not only look at the country’s fundamentals but also the bilateral relationship between the countries and what they can expect in a long-term investment,” he said at a press conference yesterday after the launch of InvestKL’s China Special Channel (CSC).

Bai said as Malaysia and China have set 2020 to be a cultural and tourism exchange year, this should further boost the relationship between the two countries and give a better understanding to Chinese investors looking to invest.

“We believe that with the encouraging investment atmosphere and friendship with Malaysia, we will continue to work closely and create greater awareness of investment opportunities in Malaysia,” he said.

InvestKL, a government investment agency under the international trade and industry ministry, launched the CSC by signing memoranda of agreement with four chambers of commerce and business councils — the Malaysia-China Business Council (MCBC), China Enterprises Chamber of Commerce in Malaysia (CECCM), The Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM), and the Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce (MCCC).