PETALING JAYA: Cooperation between China and Malaysia did not stop despite a pause in all conventional bilateral interaction due to the Covid-19 pandemic, says China Ambassador to Malaysia Ouyang Yujing.
He said that economic and trade exchanges between the two countries continued to soar amid the new normal that sparked new areas of cooperation.
"Both countries have conducted multiple virtual programmes across various sectors to maintain the momentum for economic, trade and cultural exchanges," he said on Friday (Sept 17).
Ouyang was opening the 2021 Malaysia-China Enterprise Cross-Border Cooperation Online Business Matching Conference that took place virtually this year.
The event was jointly organised by the China Embassy in Malaysia, the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) and Bank of China (Malaysia) Berhad for the fourth time.
Also present were ACCCIM president Datuk Low Kian Chuan and Bank of China deputy executive officer Wang Bing.
Ouyang noted that bilateral trade and investment had increased despite the global health crisis.
According to Chinese statistics, bilateral trade volume between China and Malaysia as well as China's investment in Malaysia increased in the first half of 2021 by 43.9% and 76.3% respectively.
"China has remained Malaysia's largest trading partner for 12 consecutive years, and also the largest foreign direct investment source in Malaysia's manufacturing sector for five consecutive years.
"The two countries have always focused on in-depth cooperation in various fields and have achieved fruitful cooperation in industrial parks, infrastructure construction, equipment manufacturing and digital economy.
"I firmly believe that China-Malaysia cooperation will usher in a new round of development after the pandemic, which would strengthen synergies of our development strategies," he said.
With the in-depth advancement of the Belt and Road initiative that has yielded fruitful results, Ouyang noted that there is still huge potential to develop bilateral economic and trade cooperation.
"Not only China and Malaysia should deepen cooperation in traditional fields, but we should also create more growth opportunities, strengthening traditional industries and also creating new economic opportunities such as in biomedicine, green energy and digital economy.
"Not only should we attach importance to the leading role of large enterprises but also give full play to the advantages of the smaller SMEs.
"On the basis of bilateral strategies, a new pattern should be formed, where enterprises work and develop together," he added.
In his speech, Low, who is also the president of the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (NCCIM), said that over 1,000 companies from China and 215 from Malaysia have registered for the online business matching conference.
"After screening and selection, 327 companies from China connected with 109 Malaysian companies in the conference," he said.
Low noted that the strong bilateral cooperation between Malaysia and China illustrated the complementary development strategies and the huge potential for greater economic and trade cooperation.
The pandemic, he said, has accelerated technology trends and advancement.
"If companies want to get out of their current situation, they must be well-prepared before taking the initiative to seize the opportunity to make new breakthroughs," said Low.