China-Malaysia Ties Continue To Prosper On Mutual Respect, Trust

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KUALA LUMPUR – Mutual respect and trust are the key factors ensuring the China-Malaysia relationship stays strong and continues to prosper.

China’s Ambassador to Malaysia Dr Huang Huikang also described the relationship as akin to a Chinese proverb that translates to, “Friendship is like wine, the older the better.”

He said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s recent working visit to China was not only a huge success in strengthening bilateral ties, but also helping Malaysia’s development into the future.

“I don’t understand why there are claims that Najib’s visit was to ‘sell off’ Malaysia to China, with no support for the efforts taken to boost trade and investment between both countries,” he told reporters here today.

He said Najib’s visit to China would not only benefit big industries, but also smallholders in the agricultural sector.

“Another initiative is to enhance the export of palm oil and bird nests to China,” he added.

During the visit, Najib proposed to his counterpart Li Keqiang, that China increase the purchase of palm oil, considering that there are 500,000 smallholders in Malaysia.

He also raised the issue of raw unclean edible bird’s nest exports to China, while giving an assurance that the facility to export the product would be settled as soon as possible, as it involved 10,000 swiftlet farmers in Malaysia.

Malaysia is reportedly the world’s second largest producer of bird’s nests, and would be exporting raw unclean bird’s nest to China, besides the processed product.

The bird’s nest market in China stands at US$1.8 billion per annum.

Huang said prior to the discussion, the Chinese government had given a positive response towards considering the proposals and would take necessary action to increase imports of palm oil and bird’s nests from Malaysia.

On concerns of stiff competition from Malaysia’s small and medium enterprises amid rising investments and participation from China, he said there was nothing to worry, because the spin-off effects were fair and equal.

“There is nothing to worry. Chinese companies also have corporate social responsibility policies and are not benefit-oriented,” he added.

He explained that to invest in Malaysia, the Chinese companies need local partners with job opportunities to be created, alongside, technology transfer.

“Such collaboration will complement one another, as there will be technology transfer, exchange of expertise, as well as possibly localising production to support the industry,” Huang said.

During his visit to China earlier this month, Najib managed to secure for Malaysia, investments worth RM144 billion with 14 trade agreements covering the economy, defence, agriculture, education, finance and construction sealed. – BERNAMA