Twenty-first Century "maritime Silk Road" and the international communication platform

Serving as the Country of Honor Again, Malaysia Ushers in New Cooperation Opportunities With China

2022-09-20 08:28:29   By:China-ASEAN    Hits:

Written by Tang Qi / Translated by Chen Zhiying

48 years ago, Malaysia was the first country in ASEAN to establish diplomatic relations with China, opening a new chapter for China-Malaysia relations and also China-ASEAN relations. 48 years later, China and Malaysia, the two amicable neighbors, see a closer bilateral relationship and spearhead and set a good example for regional friendly cooperation.

With the upcoming opening ceremony of the 19th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO), Malaysia, as the Country of Honor again, attracts the public’s attention and expectation. At this important moment, how would Malaysia bring more highlights at this year’s CAEXPO and continue to write a brilliant chapter of China-Malaysia cooperation?

An advance in quantity and quality

“Blood is thicker than water, and the two peoples are like brothers.” Over the 48 years since the establishment of diplomatic ties, high-level leaders of the two countries have continued to deepen cooperation. Bilateral relations have achieved new upgrades and new development and risen to a new level. 

In July 2022, when Malaysian Supreme Head Abdullah met the Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Kuala Lumpur, he said that China is not only Malaysia’s largest trading partner but also an important strategic partner to Malaysia. The “Two Countries, Twin Parks” program sees great progress that contributes to Malaysia’s economy. Wang Yi said that China has been the largest trading partner of Malaysia for 13 consecutive years, and the all-round cooperation between the two countries has yielded fruitful results, boosting both countries’ development and revitalization and delivering huge benefits to the two peoples.

In recent years, bilateral cooperation between China and Malaysia has been flourishing, yielding many good cooperation results in industrial parks, infrastructure, equipment manufacturing, information and communication, and digital economy.

Even though affected by the pandemic, bilateral trade bucked against the trend to achieve growth, with China being Malaysia’s top trading partner for 13 years running. In 2021, bilateral trade volume reached US$ 176.8 billion, a year-on-year increase of 34.5%, higher than the average rate of China’s trade with ten ASEAN countries in the 

same year (28.1%). China’s import and export volumes to Malaysia were US$ 98.06 billion and US$ 78.77 billion respectively, with a growth of 30.4%.

With bilateral trade going up, cooperation projects between the two sides also see an increase. China and Malaysia promote key projects such as the “Two Countries, Twin Parks” and the East Coast Rail Link to jointly build the high-quality Belt and Road, explore cooperation in new business formats such as e-commerce, internet economy, and digital economy to create new growth point in the post-pandemic era, and strengthen cooperation in infrastructure and manufacturing to facilitate connectivity. All these aim to push the China-Malaysia comprehensive strategic partnership to a new level.

Besides, with the optimized connectivity mechanism, people-to-people exchanges come to the priority of China-Malaysia cooperation, facilitating the understanding between the two peoples like a bridge. 

Such good results reflect that China-Malaysia cooperation is not only an expansion of quantity. Moreover, it has achieved quality development. Only through the above two aspects can bilateral cooperation go steadily and further, grow in depth and substance, and step to a new stage.

The first tunnel of the East Coast Rail Link project built by China and Malaysia has opened

CAEXPO, a win-win grand event

CAEXPO, as a major platform for China-Malaysia cooperation, witnessed various moments of bilateral economic and trade exchanges.

For Malaysia, CAEXPO opens a door for more cooperation with China. According to Sharimahton, Deputy CEO of Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation, Malaysian enterprises will be encouraged to utilize CAEXPO to promote import and economic recovery in the post-pandemic era.

Durian is one of the main specialties of Malaysia, among which Musang King, also reputed as the “Hermes in Durian”, is the most famous. In recent years, Malaysian durian heat continues to rise in China, and through the CAEXPO, Malaysian durian gained more opportunities to enter the Chinese market.

In July 2022, CAEXPO Durian Festival was held through the online CAEXPO, providing a large platform for exhibitors to produce and sell fresh durian and deep-processed durian products to purchasers. Large orchards and brand enterprises from Malaysia took this opportunity to promote products online and share the new trend of the durian industry. At the Durian Festival, one can see the presence of Musang King and non-staple food like dried durian, durian ice cream, durian coffee, and durian pizza from Malaysia. They have earned the heart of a large number of consumers. 

Besides durian, a batch of featured products from Malaysia also went viral in the Chinese market through the CAEXPO. In the live shopping selling Malaysian products at the 17th CAEXPO, a total of 19 products were launched, and online views reached 208,000 within three hours. 

Malaysia durian entered the Chinese market through the CAEXPO

On the live channel of Malaysian hostess Tiya, she introduced local Malaysian coffee in fluent Chinese and, only in one hour, received 107,000 likes. In one day, plus the amount earned in the pre sale, the total transaction amount of selling Malaysian coffee in her channel alone reached almost one million yuan.

Taking advantage of the CAEXPO, Malaysia’s durian and coffee account for an increasing market share in China. Quality products with strong Malaysian features like rubber, agricultural products, electronic products, auto and parts, and handicrafts are also attractive to the Chinese market. Many Malaysian enterprises regard the CAEXPO as a must-visit business place every year. 

It is worth mentioning that Malaysia is the first country that reserves the whole exhibition hall in ten ASEAN countries. It ranks top in terms of participation scale, transaction volume, and contractual investment amount.

CAEXPO, as a major platform for opening up and cooperation between China and ASEAN, provides the China-Malaysia “Two Countries, Twin Parks” with a precious international platform. Since the 12th CAEXPO, the exhibition themed China-Malaysia “Two Countries, Twin Parks” occupied a wider area, displayed more diverse exhibits, and covered more industries, presenting the world with a course featuring common development.

Influencer livestreaming at the Malaysia pavilion on the 18th CAEXPO

Serving as the Country of Honor again, Malaysia strives to score new results

At the 8th CAEXPO in 2011, Malaysia acted as the Country of Honor for the first time. 11 years later, what highlights will the country show at CAEXPO shouldering the same responsibility again?

On August 26, 2022, at the Country of Honor Press Conference, Mr. Azlimi Zakaria, Consul General of Malaysia in Nanning, said that 34 Malaysian enterprises will take part in the CAEXPO, including 23 online participants and 11 on-site ones to showcase food and beverage, health industry, lifestyle, petroleum, and natural gas. During the CAEXPO, Malaysia will hold forums, B2B trade matching meetings, influencer live-streaming, and cultural performances, and celebrate the 10th anniversary of the China-Malaysia Qinzhou Industrial Park with Qinzhou Park. All these will promote Malaysia-China business exchange and deepen Malaysia’s cooperation with both China and other countries.

Wei Zhaohui, Secretary-General of the CAEXPO Secretariat, said that the CAEXPO will invite Malaysia’ head of state to deliver video remarks at the opening ceremony. A variety of activities about the Country of Honor will be held to show Malaysia’s national image and influence. A special exhibition area for the 10th anniversary of the Malaysia-China “Two Countries, Twin Parks” will be set, and activities like the Malaysia-China “Two Countries, Twin Parks” Development Forum and the China-Malaysia Palm Oil Industry Development Forum will be held to deepen Malaysia-China economic and trade cooperation.

In addition, the CAEXPO Secretariat will also provide customized services for Malaysia, specifically, highlighting its national image and featured products in the ASEAN and RCEP exhibition hall, providing online and on-site professional trade and investment matchmaking services for Malaysian businessmen, and offering customs clearance, transportation, purchase, tax exemption, and other convenience service for exhibitors from Malaysia and other ASEAN countries to help Malaysian enterprises gain more business opportunities.

With so many opportunities, Malaysia is believed to bring more highlights at the 19th CAEXPO, and China and Malaysia will continue to utilize CAEXPO to carry out more in-depth and practical cooperation.

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