KOTA KINABALU: Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce Sabah branch is confident of reaching USD100 billion in bilateral trade between both nations despite the general decline in world economy this year.
Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce (MCCC) Sabah branch president Datuk Lau Kok Sing said trade revenue between the two countries had improved from USD 74.2 billion two years ago to USD 90.3 billion.
“China thus has become Malaysia’s largest trading partner, with Malaysia having a trade surplus of USD 30 billion,” he said at the second anniversary dinner of the formation of MCCC Sabah branch here on Friday.
The event was graced by Head of State Tun Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Juhar Haji Mahiruddin and Toh Puan Datin Seri Panglima Hajah Norlidah Binti Datuk R.M. Jasni.
Lau pointed out that sizeable investments from China were already visible in the State, particularly in plantations, and the first hotel complex wholly owned by entrepreneurs from China is already operational.
“I am confident that there will be continuous investments from China, thereby strengthening the economic ties between Sabah and China.”
Although MCCC Sabah branch had only been established for two years, Lau said its parent body in Kuala Lumpur was formed 20 years ago, forging close ties between Malaysia and China.
Since the formation of the Sabah branch, the chamber had specifically promoted Sabah through various business channels whenever suitable occasions arose as the ideal state in Malaysia for business dealings among Chinese investors, he said.
In the past two years, Lau said the close business relationships have translated into visits of top leaders from China.
Lau said the recent visits by top leaders and senior officials from China would enable them to have a better understanding of the State, as well as exposing Sabah to the business community in China.
He continued to say that the huge market in China was ideal for Sabah’s palm oil and other products.
The booming tourism industry also complement well with the growing tourists from China, and we are seeing consumer products from China becoming increasingly more dominant among the people here, he said, stressing the importance of Malaysia-China ties.
“Our Sabah branch of Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce will continue to play our role to improve further our cultural and trading ties between our two nations.”
Also present were Assistant Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Edward Yong Oui Fah, Federation of Sabah Manufacturers (FSM) president Datuk Seri Panglima Wong Khen Thau, Sabah Dong Zong president Tan Sri Andrew Liew Sui Fatt as well as MCCC Sabah branch honorary advisors Datuk James Hwong and Datuk Clement Yeh.