NANNING, China –– Malaysian businesses and investors must be prepared to compete for investment opportunities from or in China.
Malaysia’s Consul-General in Nanning, Ahmad Phadil Ismail, said that in view of China’s vast and open domestic market, Malaysia can explore many new markets based on its advantage in agricultural commodity production.
China reopened its international borders in January after almost three years of closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the Malaysian business community must seize the resulting opportunities to explore new markets in the republic, he said.
“China has been Malaysia’s largest trading partner all this while. (But) with the emerging competition from Vietnam, Malaysia must work harder.
“This is just the competition within Asean and not yet taking into consideration competition from Europe, other developed and developing countries,” he told Bernama TV in Nanning recently.
Ahmad Phadil said Asean’s position, especially Malaysia’s, in the shifting world geopolitical landscape, should be viewed as an opportunity to attract investments.
According to him, China and Malaysia have continued to maintain very close relations despite changes in leadership.
“We must capitalise on this close bilateral relations. China is ready to receive foreign investments. The question is whether Malaysia’s business community is ready to give the same commitment,” he said.
Ahmad Phadil said agricultural commodities are among the main exports from Malaysia to China, and products such as palm oil, durian and edible bird’s nest are warmly received in the Chinese market.
Therefore, he expressed hope that the Malaysian business community would make use of the business opportunities at the 20th China-Asean Expo in September this year.
On attracting investments from China, Ahmad Phadil said electric vehicles, artificial intelligence and green technology are among the new areas that could be looked into.
In 2022, trade with China reached 17.1 per cent of Malaysia’s total global trade of RM2.8 trillion.
Total trade between the two countries last year amounted to RM487.13 billion, an increase of 15.6 per cent compared to 2021. — BERNAMA