Malaysia renews 5-year economic and trade cooperation with China

CHINA and Malaysia renewed a five-year economic and trade cooperation pact today and pledged to review visa-free travel arrangements between the countries.

This is among the 14 memoranda of understanding (MOUs) signed during the visit by Chinese Premier Li Qiang to mark 50 years of diplomatic ties.

Li, who arrived in Kuala Lumpur last night, met with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim at Seri Perdana Complex, Putrajaya, this morning.

Li and Anwar then witnessed the signing of the trade MoU, named the Second Cycle of the Five-Year Programme for Economic and Trade Cooperation (2024-2028), by Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz and China’s Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao.

Tengku Zafrul and Wang also signed two other MOUs on strengthening investment cooperation in digital economy and promoting investment cooperation in green development.

Another signed agreement is for exports of fresh durians from Malaysia to China signed by Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu and Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Malaysia Ouyang Yujing

The agreement would see Malaysia, one of the world’s biggest producers of the fruit, join South-East Asian neighbours Thailand and Vietnam in shipping fresh durians to the multi-billion-dollar Chinese market.

Malaysia was previously allowed to ship only durian products and frozen whole durian to China.

Li is on the third leg of a trip where he has also visited New Zealand and Australia, as China looks to expand its influence and investments in the Asia-Pacific amid geopolitical tensions and competition with the US.

Li is also expected to meet His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim King of Malaysia, and attend a groundbreaking ceremony at a construction site for the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

The 665km, RM50.27 billion railway will connect the east and west coasts of Peninsular Malaysia by the end of 2026.

First proposed in 2017, the rail link is being constructed by the Malaysian unit of China Communications Construction Co Ltd. — TMR