September 18, 2023
NANNING – Malaysia has deepened business ties with China after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim secured deals worth close to RM20bil after a packed one-day trip here yesterday.
After witnessing the signing of memoranda of understanding (MOUs) worth RM19.84bil, Anwar also invited Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Qiang to visit Malaysia next year to commemorate 50 years of China-Malaysia ties.
The highlight of the MoUs was China’s decision to increase the purchase of palm oil by 500,000 tonnes.
“This will guarantee the interests of settlers and smallholders because this is the first time that China has made a huge increase,” Anwar told reporters at Nanning Marriott Hotel yesterday.
“Previously, increases were around 250,000 tonnes and now it has increased. This is a big achievement and thank you to the officers who managed it and expedited it.”
The MOU worth RM2.5bil was inked between Sime Darby Oils International limited and Guangxi Beibu Gulf International Port Group to build a trading and distribution centre for refined palm oil and shortening in Qinzhou, with an estimated annual transaction volume of 500,000 tonnes.
The biggest MOU in terms of value is worth RM15bil between Citaglobal Bhd and Shanghai SUS Environment on exploring a potential collaboration of developing waste to energy power plants.
A separate MOU worth RM2.34bil was signed between PM Access World and Beibu Gulf Port Group, which will be on warehousing and logistics cooperation to support the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor between Guangxi and Malaysia.
The signing of the MOUs was witnessed by Anwar who was accompanied by Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz, Local Government Development Minister Nga Kor Ming, Deputy Agriculture and Food Security minister Chan Foong Hin, and Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Mohamad Alamin.
Prior to the MOUs, Anwar had attended a bilateral meeting and luncheon with Li at Li Yuan Resort.
According to Anwar, the bilateral meeting discussed a myriad of issues on improving relations between Asean, China and Malaysia.
“The Chinese Premier was very generous and he hosted a luncheon with us. I managed to discuss various issues with him.
“I came because Li asked for my attendance, as they wanted to discuss bilateral relations and Asean, aside from efforts to support Malaysian companies in the China-Asean Expo (CAEXPO),” said Anwar.
China will also support Putrajaya’s recently unveiled New Industrial Master Plan (NIMP) 2030, he added.
The NIMP 2030 plans to transform Malaysia into a high-tech nation in seven years and requires total investments of RM95bil.
According to Anwar, Li also wanted more Chinese companies to actively invest in Malaysia and emphasised the upskilling of the Malaysian workforce.
“Their views about Malaysian professionals, engineers, technicians and IT experts are very good, as we are known for our dedication and discipline.
“But, upskilling is crucial. Therefore, in meetings with the CCCC, Geely and Huawei, I stressed on efforts to increase research and also special training programmes in Malaysia,” said Anwar after the bilateral meeting with Li.
He also said he extended an invitation to President Xi and Premier Li to visit next year to commemorate five decades of ties between Malaysia and China.
The Prime Minister said various activities are being planned in both countries to celebrate this milestone.
“Once again, I extend an invitation to Xi and Li to make an official visit to Malaysia next year, in conjunction with the anniversary celebration,” said Anwar
The last time Xi visited Malaysia was 10 years ago in October 2013 on a two-day working visit during the Barisan Nasional administration led by former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Anwar was speaking to reporters after holding separate closed-door meetings with Huawei and China Communications and Construction Company (CCCC), respectively.
He attended the opening ceremony of the 20th CAEXPO and the China-Asean Business and Investment Summit (Cabis) at 9am yesterday before witnessing the signing of the MOUs.
After the press conference, Anwar left for Nanning Wuxu International Airport to return to Kuala Lumpur as he will be attending the ongoing Parliament session today.
Prior to his day-trip to Nanning, Anwar had chaired a Cabinet Meeting and spoke at the Malaysia Day celebrations in Kuching on Saturday night.