BEIJING: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim says his visit to China this week is a manifestation of the country's importance to Malaysia in various aspects, especially trade.
He said China was important not only as a neighbour with a close bilateral relationship and a close trading partner, but also due to its position as a major power in the world economy.
He described China as the world's current economic giant.
"Given the priority, we come to China first. But as a trading nation, we must maintain excellent relationships with all, including the United States,” he said during the breaking of fast with Malaysian citizens at the Malaysian embassy here Thursday (March 30) night.
China has been Malaysia's largest trading partner since 2009. The value of trade between Malaysia and China in 2022 was about 17.1% of Malaysia's total global trade worth RM2.8 trillion.
The total trade between the two countries in 2022 is RM487.13 billion, which is an increase of 15.6 per cent compared to the previous year.
Commenting further, the Prime Minister who just arrived here from Hainan on Thursday afternoon said the Unity Government led by him is now more intact and stable.
This allows the government to implement policies to strengthen the country's economic growth and attract more foreign investments and trade to Malaysia, he said.
Meanwhile, Anwar also expressed his gratitude to Malaysians residing in China for safeguarding the good name of Malaysia and always obeying the law here.
He said these people also played a major role in contributing to the close relationship between the two countries.
"Malaysia is a small trading country, but it is recognised and respected by China,” he said.
There are about 1,300 Malaysians registered with the embassy currently residing in China. - Bernama