Monday, May 31, 2010

Malaysia Can Develop Muslim Market in China

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa said that Malaysia's halal [not forbidden]Muslim products were well positioned in the huge Muslim market in China. He said Muslim products produced by Malaysia were widely accepted and welcomed by the Muslims in China. He added that if Malaysia and China could enhance bi-lateral cooperation in the various Halal product fields, Malaysia's Halal products should stand a good change to open up the huge and massive Muslim product market in China.

Datuk Seri Mustapa said this in conjunction with the 20th Anniversary of the Malaysian-China Chamber of Commerce (MCCC) when he accepted a video interview with the MCCC Economic Bureau Director Kong Ling Loong.

Business and Investment Opportunities
In this interview, the International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa said the Malaysian Government was prepared to host a number of business and investment forum to promote bilateral business and investment opportunities between Chinese and Malaysian businesses to boost business interaction. He also hoped Malaysian private sector could play an active role to attract more Chinese businesses to invest in Malaysia.

'Malaysia looks forward to more Chinese buyers to participate in the 2010 International Trade Exhibition (INTRADE 2010) held in Kuala Lumpur from 9 to 11 November this year.'

Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa said: 'Malaysia and China must build a more far-reaching relationship and cooperation in various fields, including agriculture, infrastructure development, transportation and logistics management, tourism and investment, as well as the rapid development in biotechnology and environmental services in recent years.'

Bilateral Economic and Trade Relations With China
When asked about how Malaysia and China could strengthen trade and economic ties, Minister Mustapa said that as early as in 1974, Malaysia and China had already established diplomatic relations. He said that following Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib's visit to China in June 2009 and the visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao to Malaysia on11 November during the same year, the bilateral relationship between the two countries have already reached a new height.
'In 1988, Malaysia has also signed trade agreement with China to strengthen bilateral economic and trade relations.'

'Under this trade agreement, in 1988 Malaysia and China formed the Joint Economic and Commercial Council (JETC). Since then, JETC has served as the platform for both governments and commercial organizations from both countries to carry out interaction and. It has also become a platform to resolve trade and investment problems and issues. The JETC has held eight meetings since then.
Minister Mustapa said he hoped Malaysia could hold more similar meetings with China.

Malaysia Issued Over 20,000 Country of Origin Certificates To China For Chinese Enterprises To Enjoy Tax Exception Benefit
In conjunction with the launch of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area in 2010, Malaysia has issued 23, 434 country of origin certificates (Form Es) with a total worth of US$2.8 billion dollars to China in 2009.

Minister Mustapa said that in addition to bilateral trade and economic ties, Malaysia also enhanced its tie with China within the region through the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA). Under this agreement, as long as the importing countries could produce the country of origin certificates of their products at the customs office, their good imported to that country within ASEAN or China would get tax relief or total tax exemption.

'The ASEAN-China Free Trade Area has become effective as of 1 January 2010. Ninety percent of the internal products circulated within the region, including electronic and electrical products, have already enjoyed zero tariffs.'

China Becomes Malaysia's Largest Trading Partner
International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa said the trade impact of China to the region was increasingly important as days went by.

'China has always been Malaysia's major trading partners. In 2009, for the first time, China has become Malaysia's largest trading partner with a total trade volume amounted to 127.9 billion ringgit.'

'In 2009, when China's Ministry of Commerce released its trade report, Malaysia was China's fifth largest trading partner in the world after Japan, Korea, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Taiwan.

'As for Malaysia's trade volume with China among Association of South East Asian (ASEAN) countries, Malaysia is indeed the most important trading partner for China within the ASEAN region. It is clear that the bi-lateral trade relationship between Malaysia and China is interdependent of each other. Such a trade partnership can be expected to improve in the coming years.'

China's Rapid Development To Benefit Malaysia
'China's rapid development is not so much of a challenge to Malaysia but rather an opportunity for Malaysia.' Mustapa said the Chinese Government has set its own economic transformation goals. China's development in various fields has given Malaysian businesses ample trade opportunities.

'Furthermore, Malaysia is also moving towards it own 'New Economic Model' reform. Both countries have a lot of opportunities to cooperate. Malaysia can also learn from China.'

'From regional perspective, the establishment of ASEAN-China Free Trade Area has reflected the obvious intimate relationship between China and ASEAN. ASEAN's total trade with China reached $192 billion dollars in 2008. From 2003 to 2008, the ASEAN-China bilateral trade volume grew on an average of 26.41 percent annually.'

In conclusion, International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa said that China would need to position itself in ASEAN when the East Asian Community was formed. China would also need to taking up the leadership responsibility to cooperate with partners with similar trade ideology such as Malaysia to maintain peace and harmony in the East Asian Community.

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