NANNING, March 31 (Bernama) — Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao is scheduled to meet again tomorrow since their last meeting five months ago in this southern city of China, signifying another step forward to further strengthen economic collaboration between the two countries.
Besides the bilateral meeting, both prime ministers will jointly launch the Qinzhou Industrial Park (QIP), a Malaysia-China joint-venture project in the coastal area of Guangxi province.
Malaysian ambassador to China Datuk Iskandar Sarudin said the QIP, poised to be an iconic project, would see growing cooperation between the public and private sectors of both countries.
Najib and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor are scheduled to arrive here at 1am on Sunday for a one-day working visit to see first-hand the progress of the project.
Iskandar said the project is strategic given its proximity to Asean countries, as the nearby Qinzhou Free Port will act as the most convenient access to Southwest China, particularly Kunming, the largest city in Yunnan province.
“Malaysia-China cooperation is now at its best with both premiers (Najib and Jiabao) agreeing that the cooperation should be enhanced to the highest and strategic levels.
“This strategic cooperation involves all sectors with potential for mutual benefit,” he said at a briefing for Malaysian journalists here today.
He said the project would not only provide opportunities to Malaysian companies but to those of other Asean member countries, adding the QIP is the third such development project in China, besides the Suzhou Industrial Park and Tianjin Eco-City between China and Singapore.
The QIP’s first phase covers 15 sq km, with total development in three phases expected to expand it to 55 sq km and the whole project expected to take 15 years to complete, he said.
During their meeting in Kuala Lumpur a year ago, Najib and Jiabao had stressed the importance of strategic cooperation between Malaysia and China, thus the idea of establishing the QIP was mooted.
Both leaders met again last October when Najib attended the China-Asean Expo (CAEXPO 2011) here with both sides reinforcing their commitment in ensuring the speedy development of the project.
Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting, chairman of the Malaysia-China Business Council, was then appointed as the Prime Minister’s special envoy to China.
Tomorrow, Najib and Jiabao will witness the signing ceremony of a joint-venture agreement between Qinzhou Development (Malaysia) Consortium Sdn Bhd and Qinzhou Jingu Investment Co. Ltd.
Iskandar said trade volume between both countries continues to improve with China currently the largest partner with total trade volume of US$54.53 billion.
He added that the number of visitors from China to Malaysia increased to 1.5 million in 2011 compared to 1.4 million the previous year.
“Imports of durian have also jumped, from RM400,000 in 2010 to RM1.1 million last year, reflecting the growing demand,” he said.
Source : Bernama