KUALA LUMPUR: The establishment of Malaysia-Xiamen Chamber of Commerce (M-XCC) will further enhance the relationship between Malaysia and China.
Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz, who launched the chamber of commerce today, said the timing was perfect and would bring closer ties in terms of education, trade and tourism and even cultural exchange such as film production between the two nations.
“Xiamen is one of Malaysia’s top 10 largest trading partners among Chinese cities. In 2015, the trade value between Malaysia and Xiamen reached RM11.53 billion per annum.
“The trade volume between Malaysia and Fujian Province was about RM13.89 billion in 2016. Both Malaysia and Fujian Province have been identified as one of the hubs for the 21st Century’s Silk (Maritime) Road,” he said.
Nazri said China is Malaysia’s largest trading partner with bilateral trade reaching RM240.9 billion in 2016, amounting to 16.2% of Malaysia’s total trade. In the first quarter of this year, Malaysia-China bilateral trade amounted to RM68.74 billion.
“Next to trade, education cooperation is also strengthening as can be seen with the setting up of Xiamen University’s first overseas campus branch in Malaysia.
“The campus also has the distinction of being the first overseas campus set up by a Chinese university. It ranks ninth among more than 2,000 universities in China, and 37th in Asia.
“The university is actively encouraging a multiracial student body and even has a grant for Bumiputera and Indian students (XMUM BIC Grant – Bumiputera and Indian Community Grant),” he said.
He also added that the Malaysian government has set up a visa-processing centre in Xiamen, the fifth in China after Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Kunming, to woo one million potential tourists from Fujian.
“We hope to bring in four million tourists from China this year, doubling to eight million by 2020.
“Overall, we are targetting about RM114 billion in tourist receipts for 2017 and RM168 billion for 2020 from 36 million international arrivals.
“With the support from Alibaba’s Fliggy OTA (over-the-air platform), which has recently integrated Malaysian travel and tourism products to its e-commerce platform, this might as well be possible.” he said.
Present at the launch were Malaysia-Xiamen Chamber of Commerce president Zheng Pei Zhi and Swhengtee Expo 2017 president Datuk Seri Gavin Tee.
Source: New Straits Times