MONDAY, MAY 7, 2018, KUALA LUMPUR : In an effort to enable Malaysian companies to tap into the business opportunities along the Silk Route, Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) will be coordinating the participation of Malaysian companies at the 3rd Silk Road International Expo (SRIE) in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, China from 11 to 15 May 2018. The Malaysian delegation will be led by YBhg. Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting.
Malaysia’s participation has an added significance this year as Malaysia has been selected as the Country of Honour for SRIE 2018 by the Shaanxi Provincial Government, the main organiser of the event. More than a hundred representatives from 40 Malaysian companies and relevant Malaysian government organisations will take part at the prominent event.
Ir Dr Mohd Shahreen Zainooreen Madros, the Chief Executive Officer of MATRADE said that the involvement of Malaysian players at the event offers a good opportunity for Malaysia to enhance our presence, especially in the second tier city in the North West of China. “Participation at the Silk Road International Expo 2018 will also enable us to tap into the neighbouring Muslim markets of Shaanxi namely Ningxia, Qinghai, Gansu, Xinjiang and nearby provinces. Malaysia is leveraging on the connectivity to this region especially via the daily direct flight access by Air Asia from Malaysia to Xi’an,” he said.
Apart from Malaysia’s participation in the trade exhibition, MATRADE and the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) will be organising an economic forum to promote trade and investment opportunities as well as highlight Malaysia’s capabilities in the higher education, health tourism, machinery as well as e-commerce. Other agencies involved are the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE), Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC), East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation Sdn. Bhd. (MDEC). Besides promoting Malaysia’s trade and investment, Tourism Malaysia will be also organising Malaysia Food Festival in Shangri-la Hotel, Xi’an from 11 – 17 May 2018, to highlight Malaysian signature dishes from various states of Malaysia.
Participation at the SRIE 2018 is a continuation of various efforts by Malaysia to show our support towards the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI), following to the signing of BRI MoU by 2 Governments in 2017. Under the Belt and Road initiatives, currently, both countries are already cooperating on mega projects such as the twin parks – Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park and China-Malaysia Qinzhou Industrial Park, Xiamen University in Malaysia and the most recent is the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) which will enable Malaysian SMEs to go global.
“MATRADE, through its various export promotion initiatives will continue to accelerate Malaysia’s exports to China given its importance to Malaysian companies, especially the Small and Medium Enterprises,” Ir Dr Mohd Shahreen added.
China continued to be Malaysia’s largest trading partner for 9 consecutive years since 2009. In 2017, Malaysia’s trade with China increased by 20.6% to RM290.65 billion. Exports to China were valued at RM126.15 billion, an increase of 28% while imports rose by 15.5% to RM164.5 billion. Higher exports were recorded for E&E products, petroleum products, rubber products, liquefied natural gas (LNG), chemicals and chemical products, optical and scientific equipment, manufactures of metal as well as natural rubber. China remained as Malaysia’s largest import source with 19.6% share of total imports in 2017. Higher imports were registered for E&E products, machinery, equipment and parts as well as petroleum products.
Xi’an was the entry point to the Ancient Silk Road more than 2,000 years ago, and a major trading hub. Today, the city is assuming the same important role under China’s Belt and Road initiative. Xi’an also serves as a key regional transportation hub in China, connecting areas further west by rail to the Eastern half of China. The SRIE mainly consists of trade and industry pavilions, business cooperation seminars and international conferences which will be held concurrently. Among the sectors promoted in the event at the Malaysia pavilion include food & beverages, lifestyle, health & wellness products, healthcare tourism, higher education and tourism services as well as many others.