Malaysia targets China’s 2nd-tier cities to boost exports

Forty Malaysian companies and organisations will take part in the 3rd SRIE 2018 in Xi’an from tomorrow till May 15


Malaysia wants to boost exports to China by tapping into business opportunities in the republic’s north west second-tier cities.

Malaysia External Trade Development Corp (Matrade) CEO Dr Mohd Shahreen Zainooreen Madros said opportunities lie in Chinese cities like Ningxia, Qinghai, Gansu, Xinjiang and other nearby provinces that have a sizeable Muslim population.

“Matrade, given its importance to Malaysian companies, especially the small and medium enterprises, through its various export promotion initiatives will continue to accelerate Malaysia’s exports to China,” Mohd Shahreen said in a statement on Monday.

Over a hundred representatives from 40 Malaysian companies and organisations will take part in the third Silk Road International Expo (SRIE 2018) in Xi’an from tomorrow till May 15 to promote trade links along the Silk Route. Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting will lead the delegation. Malaysia’s participation in the SRIE 2018 reflects the country’s support towards the Belt and Road Initiative, following the memoranda signed between the two governments in 2017.

To date, both countries have worked on several mega projects such as Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park, China-Malaysia Qinzhou Industrial Park and Xiamen University Malaysia, as well as the Digital Free Trade Zone in Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Sepang.

China has been Malaysia’s largest trading partner since 2009. Last year total trade rose 20.6% year-on-year (YoY) to RM290.65 billion. Exports to China rose 28% YoY to RM126.15 billion, while imports increased 15.5% YoY to RM164.5 billion.

Higher exports were attributed to electrical and electronics (E&E) products, petroleum products, rubber products, liquefied natural gas, chemicals and chemical products, optical and scientific equipment, and also manufactures of metal and natural rubber.

The higher imports were registered for E&E, machinery, equipment and parts, as well as petroleum products.

China remains Malaysia’s largest import source with a 19.6% share of total imports in 2017.

Matrade and the Malaysian Investment Development Authority will conduct an economic forum at the SRIE 2018 to promote trade and investment opportunities, as well as highlight Malaysia’s capabilities in higher education, health tourism, machinery and e-commerce.

Among the agencies involved in the expo are the Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council, East Coast Economic Region Development Council and the Malaysia Digital Economy Corp Sdn Bhd.

Tourism Malaysia will be organising a food festival featuring local signature delights from several states in Malaysia at the Shangri-La Hotel in Xi’an from tomorrow till May 17.