|Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao addresses the Malaysia-China Economic, Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, April 28, 2011. (Xinhua/Yao Dawei)|
KUALA LUMPUR, April 28 (Xinhua) — Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Thursday put forward a five-point proposal for the promotion of trade and cooperation between China and Malaysia.
At a forum on China-Malaysia trade and investment, Wen proposed to expand trade, increase mutual investments, strengthen cooperation in infrastructure, fiance and science and technology.
“First, we should expand bilateral trade,” Wen told the forum, adding that there is great potential for trade as the two economies are highly complementary.
China’s rapid growth demands more imports of palm oil, rubber and electronic products from Malaysia, while China could provide Malaysia with quality mechanical and electrical products at lower prices, said Wen.
He urged both countries to optimize trade mix by increasing exports of products of high technology and of high added value and raising the shares of telecommunications, biopharmaceutical, and green science and technology products.
“We have decided to import frozen durian from Malaysia and we hope that Malaysia will gradually increase its imports of halal food and auto products from China,” said Wen.
Secondly, the two countries should deepen cooperation in mutual investments, he said.
The Chinese government, as always, encourages Malaysian enterprises to seek business opportunities in China, he said, adding that they are particularly welcome in China’s inner land and the Northeast.
Although China is a “latecomer” in making investment in Malaysia, China is increasing investment in the country at a rapid speed, said Wen. The Chinese government encourages well-established Chinese enterprises to put money in Malaysia in manufacturing, energy and resources and services sectors.
He expressed the hope that the Malaysian government would create favorable conditions and facilitate Chinese investment in the country.
“Third, we should reinforce cooperation in infrastructure development,” said Wen.
Noting that Malaysia would need lots of infrastructure in the years to come, Wen said cooperation in this field has broad prospects as Chinese companies in this particular sector have proper experience, credibility and competitiveness.
“China supports its companies in participating in the construction of roads, bridges, sea ports, power plants and telecommunications in Malaysia,” said the premier.
Wen said that a number of projects that are under discussion, including the southern Malaysian rail project and the Mengkuang Dam in Penang, would produce considerable economic and social benefits once completed. He urged both sides to work for an early start of these projects.
“Fourth, we should scale up financial cooperation,” Wen said.
He said China welcomes Malaysian financial institutions to expand their presence in China, adding that Bank Negara Malaysia has been granted official approval to set up a representative office in Beijing and to invest in China’s inter-bank bond market.
Finally, Wen called for more cooperation in education and science and technology.
“China wants to see closer exchanges between Chinese and Malaysian scholars, teachers, experts and students and enhanced cooperation between our institutions of higher learning,” he said.
China opened a Confucius Institute in the University of Malaya, while Malaysia has set up a Malay Study Center at Beijing Foreign Studies University, he added.
“The two governments will sign an agreement on mutual recognition of academic degrees in higher education,” Wen said.
China and Malaysia should enhance cooperation in research and development and joint training in biology, remote sensing, information technology, traditional Chinese medicine and oceanology as they have strengths in these fields.
“China would like to train more than 10,000 telecommunications professionals for Malaysia in the next five years,” Wen said.
|Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (L) and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak attend the Malaysia-China Economic, Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, April 28, 2011. (Xinhua/Yao Dawei)|
Noting that Malaysia is the first ASEAN country to establish diplomatic ties with China, Wen said China-Malaysia relations have stood the test of time and changes in international situations, and embarked on a track of mature, steady and sound development.
“Politically, our two countries have enhanced strategic mutual trust and maintained frequent high-level exchanges,” he said.
China and Malaysia have kept close communication on bilateral relations and major regional and international issues, supported each other and accommodated each other’s concerns that bear on their respective interests.
The Chinese premier said he and his Malaysian counterpart, Najib Razak, witnessed the signing of the Joint Action Plan on China-Malaysia Strategic Cooperation in Beijing during Najib’s visit to China two years ago.
“Economically, our mutually beneficial cooperation has rapidly expanded in scale and scope,” said Wen, noting that bilateral trade rose to a record high of 74.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2010.
China has become Malaysia’s biggest trading partner and biggest market for Malaysian palm oil, while Malaysia is China’s top trading partner in ASEAN. Two-way investments have exceeded 6 billion U.S. dollars, he said.
“A number of key projects, including the Penang second bridge and Bakun power station, are now under construction,” said Wen, adding that the Malaysian currency, ringgit, has become the first currency of an emerging market economy traded in the Chinese inter-bank foreign exchange market.
“Culturally, our two countries have enjoyed close people-to-people exchanges and made solid progress in exchanges and cooperation in science, technology, education, culture, health, sports and other fields,” he said.
There are 170 flights between China and Malaysia every week and 2 million mutual visits between the two peoples every year, Wen noted.
More than 10,000 Chinese students are now studying in Malaysia, making China the largest source of international students for Malaysia. Around 4,000 Malaysian students are studying in China.
Wen arrived here Wednesday for a two-day official visit. He is scheduled to visit Indonesia afterward.