Malaysia and China are working closely to boost the countries’ bilateral trade and triple their trade volume target of USD160 billion by 2017.
The two countries’ two-way trade volume was approximately USD57 billion in 2014, and it the figure is expected to rise to USD70 billion by end of 2015. China is Malaysia’s largest trading partner at present.
“The countries [Malaysia and China] are working towards increasing efficiency and effectiveness of the ports,” said Malaysian transport minister Liow Tiong Lai.
In September 2015 China’s Guangxi Beibu Gulf International Port Group bought a 40% stake in Kuantan Port Consortium for approximately USD94 million for expansion works on the biggest port in the east coast of Malaysia.
“The port is a strategic infrastructure that will provide quick and direct access to southern China. So it will be the gateway,” commented Jebasingam Issace John, CEO of Malaysia’s east coast economic region development council.
The port development in Kuantan helps to facilitate raw materials imports to southern China’s industrial park and is part of the long-term strategy of China’s ‘One Belt, One Road project.
The initiative aims at enhancing the trade connectivity between China with the rest of the Southeast Asia region.