KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia needs to explore China's second-tier cities such as Dalian to expand bilateral trade which is expected to hit USD160bil (RM686.5bil).
International Trade and Industry Minister II Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan (pix) said Malaysia currently exports about USD9bil (RM36.82bil) of goods to Dalian.
"This can be improved, to up to USD40bil (RM171.68bil)," said Ong at the Malaysia-Dalian Economic and Trade Forum on Monday.
Dalian mayor Xiao Shengfeng said that the city hoped to increase cooperation with other cities under the One Belt One Road initiative.
"Dalian is a fast-developing city with many businesses, including manufacturing, oil and gas, chemicals and textiles.
"Dalian is also known as one of the best tourism destinations in China. We hope to generate better trade relationships with Malaysia," he said in his speech at the forum.
The city in China's Liaoning province registered six percent GDP growth in 2016, on rough parity with the national GDP growth.