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Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting sees tremendous potential in co-developing Halal business between Malaysia and Ningxia

On Sept 11, Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting, the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to China and Chairman of the Malaysia-China Business Council, led a Malaysian delegation to the joint annual meeting of the China-Malaysia Joint Business Council in Yinchuan, capital of Ningxia. The China (Ningxia)-Malaysia Business Investment Forum was also held with about 120 delegates from Malaysia and China attended both events to enhance economic and trade co-operation.

Tan Sri Ong said that in 2011, halal trade between Malaysia and China rose to US$143.5 million while halal trade between Malaysia and Ningxia was over US$66 million which made Ningxia Malaysia’s biggest market for halal business among China’s Muslim regions.

He also said that China has become Malaysia’s most important trade partner in Asia, noting that 2012 was most remarkable as it marked the year when China became Malaysia’s biggest export country, with the trade volume at record high.

In the first quarter of this year, Chinese investment in Malaysia had for the first time exceeded Malaysian investment in China, he said, adding that the upsurge was a boost to Malaysia’s confidence in attracting a total of RM6.2 billion foreign investment this year.

He noted that the establishment of the China-Malaysia Qinzhou Industrial Park had been progressing smoothly while its “sister industrial park” the Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park is set to take off soon. He extended a warm welcome to Ningxia industrialists and entrepreneurs to make a visit to Kuantan to explore business opportunities there.

He said: “At present, Malaysia is recognized worldwide as an authoritative halal food certification centre. Ningxia can learn from Malaysia’s processing, production and certification experiences by seeking active co-operation with Malaysian entrepreneurs in order to achieve a win-win or even multiple-winning situations.”

Tan Sri Ong expressed optimism that trade exchange between Malaysia and Ningxia in halal food, Islamic garments and other commodities will eventually result in raising Ningxia products and services to world-class standard that are able to penetrate the global market.

Mr Zhang Wei, Vice Chairman of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, said that economic co-operation between China and Malaysia had been progressing in a healthy and robust way against the backdrop of rapid growth in the China-Asean economic ties.

He added that both the Chinese and Malaysian governments had taken the development of bilateral economic ties seriously. Both governments encourage and support co-operative efforts by entrepreneurs of both countries.

He hoped that both governments would continue to make efforts in expanding the scope of economic co-operation, reciprocal investments and in broadening co-operation between the SMEs of both countries. There is need to explore new areas of co-operation and strengthen the foundation of co-operation for mutual benefits.

The China-Malaysia Joint Business Council was set up in 2002 and since then, eight joint meetings have been held in both China and Malaysia. It provides an important bridging role, linking and promoting closer ties between Malaysian and Chinese enterprises.

Meeting in progress: The 2012 China-Malaysia Joint Business Council Annual Meeting was held in Yinchuan together with the China (Ningxia)-Malaysia Business Investment Forum.
Memento for Mr Zhang: Tan Sri Ong presenting a memento to Mr Zhang Wei, Vice-Chairman of CCPIT.
For the album: A group picture of the Malaysian delegation attending the business and investment forum in Yinchuan, Ningxia.

 (Compiled & translated by Hoo Ban Khee)

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