Malaysia’s trade with China remains significant in 1Q 2024, amounting to RM151 bln

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Awang Tengah (centre) arrives for the MCS 2024 here today, accompanied by Medan (left), Xing (second right), and Qube Integrated Malaysia Sdn Bhd executive chairman Richard Teo (right). – Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING (May 23): Malaysia’s trade with China remained significant in the first quarter of 2024, with total trade amounting to RM151 billion, says Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) board member Dato Mohammad Medan Abdullah.

He said this was an increase of 5.9 per cent compared to the same period last year.

“During this period, Malaysia’s exports to China were recorded at RM58.6 billion with electrical and electronics (E&E) products being the biggest exports sharing 40.5 per cent of our total exports to China.

“Imports were valued at RM92.46 billion comprising mainly E&E products, machinery, equipment and parts, as well as chemicals and chemical products,” he said during the Malaysia-China Summit (MCS) 2024: Networking Engagement Series in Sarawak here today.

He said despite the challenges of the world economy that affected international trade, China remained Malaysia’s largest trading partner and primary source for imports in 2023.

“Likewise, Malaysia was China’s 10th largest global trading partner as well as the second largest trading partner within Asean. Notably, Malaysia was China’s largest source of imports, among Asean countries.

“In fact, China was the second largest export destination, after Japan, for Sarawakian exporters with our total export to the country in 2023 amounting to RM18.83 billion.

“This highlights the importance and immense potential of the China market for Sarawak businesses,” he said.

Meanwhile, China’s Consul-General in Kuching Xing Weiping said Sarawak’s development strategy provided many possibilities for enterprises of both sides.

“Whether it is traditional infrastructure or new infrastructure construction; whether it is new energy or digital economy, China and Sarawak have huge potential for cooperation.

“I appreciate Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg’s commitment to building Sarawak as a regional renewable energy centre and vigorously developing the hydrogen energy industry and Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) sector, which are new industries that cannot be developed without international cooperation,” he said.

He said China is willing to discuss, explore cooperation in the new energy industry as well as supply chain cooperation, jointly work together to address global climate change to create more highlights in economic cooperation according to market principles, thus building up a win-win situation.

Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan officiated the pre-summit event which was held to promote the upcoming MCS 2024, signifying the importance of the region of Sarawak in the bilateral relations.

Organised by Matrade and Qube Integrated Malaysia, the event aimed to share the summit’s objectives and participation benefits with Sarawak government officials, corporate executives, industry leaders, and business associations.

Sarawak has been invited to join MCS 2024’s mission to strengthen Malaysia’s trade, investment, and cultural ties with China and Asean, targeting RM2 billion in high-value trade and investment opportunities.

MCS 2024, themed ‘Prosperity Beyond 50’ is scheduled to be held in Kuala Lumpur from December 17 to 19.

It will be the final event in a series of programmes under the Ministry of Investment, Trade, and Industry to commemorate the significant milestone of Malaysia and China’s 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations.