KUALA LUMPUR: It is time for businessmen to explore new markets and bring Malaysian products further into the interior provinces of China, says International Trade and Industry Minister II Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan.
He said these interior towns and cities of China, which had only recently opened their markets, were full of potential to grow.
“We have secured stable economic ties with the coastal cities. It is time we move further inland to boost bilateral trade between our countries,” he told reporters yesterday.
Earlier, Ong welcomed a delegation from Shaanxi, led by its governor Hu Heping, to discuss trade opportunities between Malaysia and the interior province of China.
This is the first time this province from the northwest region has come to seek further trade and business cooperation with Malaysia.
Ong pointed out that one of the reasons for Hu’s sivit was to invite Malaysia to become the guest of honour at a trade expo in June.
“But we were unable to do so due to time constraints and the ministry’s tight schedule.
“We will encourage our businessmen, especially those from the small and medium enterprises, to take part in the exhibition to introduce their products,” he added.
Shaanxi, where the ancient capital Xian is located, is the oldest province in China. It has some 200,000 Muslims. It is also the starting point of the famous Silk Road.
Ong said the province is also the top producer of oil and natural gas in China.
“Last year, trade volume between Malaysia and Shaanxi reached US$257mil (RM1.14bil), with electronic components as our main export to the province.
“It was not very big, but we are targeting to double the amount following the meeting today,” he added.
On the Malaysian white coffee – a popular beverage among the Chinese – Ong pointed out that online sales of the product had seen a significant increase this year.
“It is just March, but the sales via the e-commerce platform have surpassed the RM253mil recorded last year. We are confident that the figure will hit RM1bil by the end of the year,” he added.
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