The Edge Markets (24/06/2019) - KUALA LUMPUR (June 24): China Ambassador to Malaysia Bai Tian has confirmed that Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng is scheduled to have an official visit to China with deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail in July.
Bai mentioned the scheduled visit at a luncheon jointly organised by the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) and China Enterprises Association in Malaysia (CENAM) here today that was held in conjunction with the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
"I wish their visit to be successful next month. I also wish to welcome an ongoing official visit to China this week by a delegation of DAP members led by Lim Kit Siang, a delegation of religious people led by Minister [of Religious Affairs] in the Prime Minister's Department, Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof, and a delegation led by Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Yeo Bee Yin," he said.
Bai also asserted his country's stance on the ongoing trade war with the US.
"A certain country is disrupting the globalisation norm through trade protectionism. China is forced to face this trade war. We don't intend to have such conflict, we want to negotiate with goodwill and reach a resolution amicably. But if the other party demands something that is not mutually beneficial, we are forced to respond," he said.
Bai then urged countries around the world to be united to fight against trade protectionism.
Lim, who is also DAP secretary-general, said Malaysia endorses the idea of free and fair trade, and that trade relationship between Malaysia and any parties must come with mutual respect, benefit and prosperity.
"I am sure the China investment will further increase. It is our hope that this trade war would not continue. We want to escape the middle-income trap to become a high-income developed economy, where there is shared prosperity among all people. We believe that every country in the world can assist Malaysia by expanding free and fair trade," he said.
Lim mentioned that Malaysia's approved foreign direct investment for the first quarter of 2019 (1Q2019) rose 73% year-on-year to RM29.3 billion, from RM16.9 billion, but manufacturing investment went up even more by 127% to RM20.2 billion from RM11.5 billion in 1Q2018.
"China was second largest investor RM4.4 billion, the US contributed RM11.5 billion," he noted.
"China is our largest trading partner. Last year, our trade amounted to RM313.8 billion, which was an increase of 8.1% compared to 2017. If you look at the exports of goods, Malaysia exported RM138.9 billion to China, while China exported RM175 billion to Malaysia, so we suffered a deficit of about RM36 billion.
"In terms of services, China is our second largest partner. Malaysia exported RM16.1 billion, but we imported RM24.1 billion from China, again, a deficit of RM8.1 billion. Despite a deficit of RM44.1 billion or US$11 billion, we believe and I am sure that China will purchase more from Malaysia, especially palm oil as well as electronic goods," he added.
Lim also said Malaysia government supports China's One Belt One Road initiatives, as it is based on mutual benefit and prosperity.
"Secondly, we believe that any relationship should be built on certain set of institution that must engender mutual respect, benefit and prosperity.
"If you talk about rule of law, you must show leadership by example. You cannot be talking rule of law, open competition, free and fair trade, and yet, you break the very norms that you talk about. And finally, in any relationship between countries, there must be respect for each country's sovereign rights. Yes, there are basic international laws and values that we must respect, but you must respect these values and norms," he said, without naming the party that "breaks the norms".
"If you want the global order to respect certain basic rules, you must also follow along this global order and basic rules. We hope discussion on trade can be resolved amicably, otherwise there will be no winners. We will all be losers," Lim added.
Read more at https://www.theedgemarkets.com/article/china-envoy-confirms-guan-engs-official-visit-china-july