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Najib Describes China Visit As Most Fruitful

BEIJING, June 5 (Bernama) — Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has described his four-day official visit to China as most fruitful.

He said he was able to discuss several substantive matters at his meetings with President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao.

“Evidently, the Chinese government leadership very much desires to strengthen Malaysia-China relations and take them to a much higher level,” he said.

He said among the significant achievements was an endorsed strategic action plan covering 13 major areas, which served as the guideline for relations between Malaysia and China.

This document would be used as a guide by the relevant ministers and officers for implementing follow-up programmes to provide for growth of the bilateral relations as desired.

“In line with this desire, the economic relations will definitely be the pillar in our efforts to expand relations between Malaysia and China.

“In this connection, the potential for us to expand bilateral trade, which has surpassed US$50 billion according to China’s calculations, is very great,” he said.

Najib said several matters were discussed with the Chinese leaders and these included China’s desire to buy more palm oil from Malaysia.

Malaysia had also identified several potential fields for the participation of large companies from China, such as infrastructure development, energy, certain manufacturing industries, and the services and financial sectors.

“I had indicated to China’s prime minister that Malaysia could offer a commercial banking licence to China’s central bank on condition that China reciprocated by allowing greater participation by Malaysia in China’s financial and banking system,” Najib said.

The details would be discussed between the central banks of Malaysia and China.

Najib said he also spoke of the possibility of allowing a Chinese company to lay the double-track railway between Gemas and Johor Baharu.

In reciprocation, China expressed its readiness to consider a portion of the US$10 billion infrastructure fund allocated for Asean countries for the project.

Najib also announced that Sime Darby Bhd had been invited to become the lead agency in the development of an area measuring 100 sq km in Weifang.

“It will be more than a township, it is going to be one huge regional development. Many other Malaysian companies would be also invited to participate (in the project),” he said.

Asked whether the existing strong relations between Malaysian and Chinese leaders would help bring about more opportunities for Malaysian companies in China, the prime minister said there had been very strong and positive sentiments and vibes towards Malaysia from the Chinese government.

“I think we should take advantage of this to work things out and create more opportunities, whether it is in business, education, health, tourism or whatever. There are so many sectors that we can take advantage of.”

Najib also said that in the discussions with China, it was felt that the modality of cooperation between Petronas and the China National Oil Corporation in crude oil production in Sudan could be emulated by others from both countries for collaborative efforts in a third country.

He also said that Malaysia would look into the possibility of recognising the degrees of leading institutions of higher learning in China and would encourage more non-Chinese students from Malaysia to study Mandarin at the Beijing Foreign Studies University.

The prime minister also spoke of the importance of promoting people-to-people relations as it would help the tourism sector.

Understanding was reached by Malaysia and China on the issue of overlapping claims on territory, with both sides agreeing to renegotiate the matter so that it would not be an obstacle to the expanding of bilateral ties.

Najib invited Hu and Wen to visit Malaysia in the near future.

He said China also invited Malaysia to participate in the World Expo in Shanghai next year.

Source : Bernama

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