The Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to China and Chairman of Malaysia-China Business Council Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting led a strong delegation comprising MCBC board members and senior representatives of the Malaysian business community to Yinchuan, capital city of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, for the China-Arab States Economic and Trade Forum and other trade promotion activities in early September.
Tan Sri Ong and his party were warmly received by Mr Wang Zheng Wei, Chairman of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region People’s Government, on their arrival, followed with a meeting on Sept 10.
Mr Wang explained at the meeting that Ningxia is China’s only autonomous region with the largest Muslim population and home for the Hui people who are strong believers of Islam and who share many similarities with Malaysians in their religious beliefs and lifestyles. And thus, he added, the potential for economic co-operation in complementary to each other is tremendous.
He pointed out that economic exchanges as well as reciprocal visits between Ningxia and Malaysia had grown rapidly. In recent years, there have been several exchange visits between Malaysian and Ningxia business groups. In the field of educational co-operation, Yinchuan and the Malaysian Confucius Institute are in active discussions on their co-operative efforts.
The China-Arab States Economic and Trade Forum has grown to be an important platform to spearhead China’s trade promotion to Arab nations and also other Muslim regions. Malaysia has been a strong supporter to these events and Malaysian entrepreneurs are among the representatives from over 60 participating nations and regions.
Ningxia is being developed as China’s certification centre for halal food and Muslim commodities. It is also pilot zone for China’s westward inland open economy. As such, Mr Wang welcomed Malaysian entrepreneurs to invest in Ningxia by using the China-Arab forum as a platform to make inroads to the Arab world.
Tan Sri Ong, while thanking Ningxia people for their warm hospitality, stressed that Malaysia was taking bilateral co-operation with Ningxia very seriously. He expressed the desire to strengthen and broaden such co-operation in all other fields and to take it to a new height.
Besides participating in the trade forum, a joint meeting was also held between MCBC and China Council for the Promotion of International Trade to enhance bilateral economic and trade exchanges.
(Compiled & translated by Hoo Ban Khee)