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Malaysia stands to benefit from increased ASEAN-China trade

??2019-7-26??

POSITIVE trade growth between the Associati??????? of Southeast Asian Nati???????s (ASEAN) and China is expected to prove a bo??????? to Malaysia's import and export trade with China.

The 10-nati??????? ASEAN surpassed the United States to become China's sec???????d largest trading partner in the first six m???????ths of the year, according to China's official statistics, reported Xinhua.


Malaysia's deputy minister for internati???????al trade and industry, Ong Kian Ming, said the fact that ASEAN countries have overtaken the US in this respect "is not surprising."


The reas???????s he listed include the fact that China and ASEAN's ec???????omies are growing faster than the US, which would see a larger per cent increase in exports and imports am???????g them, the greater supply chain integrati??????? between companies operating in China and Southeast Asia, as well as the effects of trade and producti??????? diversi??????? due to US-China trade tensi???????s.


Professor Azmi Hassan from University of Technology Malaysia sees China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as the main catalyst for expanding trade between ASEAN countries and China.


Bilateral trade between China and Malaysia rose 10.7 per cent to US$57.35 billi??????? in the first half of 2019. China's exports to Malaysia were up 12.7 per cent to $24.35 billi???????, while China's imports from Malaysia grew 9.3 per cent to $33 billi???????, according to statistics by China.


Mr Ong said Malaysia is "cautiously optimistic that total trade with China will grow at a higher percentage than the overall percentage trade growth for Malaysia."


"We will c???????tinue to work with China ??????? policies to increase Malaysian exports to China, including palm oil, petrochemical products, manufactured goods and agricultural products," the deputy minister told Xinhua.


"With more investments coming from China to Malaysia and more Malaysian companies doing business with China and in China, I am c???????fident that the total trade flows will c???????tinue to increase," he said.


China and ASEAN countries are also working towards c???????cluding by the end of 2019 the Regi???????al Comprehensive Ec???????omic Partnership (RCEP), which is expected to boost trade and ec???????omic integrati??????? am???????g ASEAN members and its six trading partners, namely China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and India.

 
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