KUALA LUMPUR: The total bilateral trade between Malaysia and China is set to hit US$100bil (RM448bil) again after missing this mark for two years, said China’s Ambassador to Malaysia Dr Huang Huikang.
“There have been reduced trading activities in recent years due to the global economic slowdown, but in January-November 2016 total bilateral trade registered US$84bil (RM376bil).
“We are heading to achieving a bilateral trade of US$100bil again this year.
“We are confident next year we will be there again,” said Dr Huang here yesterday at an economic talk by Peking University’s Prof Dr Justin Lin Yifu.
In 2014 and 2015, total bilateral trade between the two nations fell below US$100bil due to the global economic slowdown.
But efforts by the two countries to forge closer ties, as well as China’s jump in investments in Malaysia’s manufacturing and infrastructure sectors in the last two years have boosted trade.
China, which takes into consideration bilateral trade via Singapore and Hong Kong, has been Malaysia’s largest trade partner for the past seven years.
Malaysia is China’s sixth largest trading nation in the world.
China is now the second largest foreign investor in Malaysia, but Dr Huang said: “If you add investments from Hong Kong and Taiwan, then China is the largest investor.”
In his speech, Dr Huang declared that China’s investments in Malaysia would continue to increase and plans to launch three new major projects worth more than RM10bil next year.
Among these projects are the RM4.1bil Bintulu gas pipeline and RM4.1bil Kedah fishing projects.
Dr Huang said China would also be pushing for growth in tourism with Malaysia next year.
“For this year, the number of tourist arrivals from China will hit a record high of 2.1 million.
“Next year, we are targeting three million,” said Dr Huang, who is known to push hard for closer Malaysia-China relations.
Malaysia has officially projected that it would attract two million tourists from China this year.
The Government has set a double figure target for next year.
Last year, Malaysia received 1.7 million Chinese tourists.
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