Speech Text – 130th China Import And Export Fair (CANTON FAIR) Opening Ceremony

14 OKTOBER 2021

1. His Excellency Li Keqiang
Premier of the People’s Republic of China;

2. Heads of Governments; Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen.


Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

1. I am honored to address the Opening Ceremony of the 130th China Import and Export Fair, or known as Canton Fair.

2. Foremost, I would like to congratulate the Government of the People’s Republic of China for successfully hosting the first integrated ‘online and offline’ Canton Fair since its inception in 1957. Distinctively, today’s event has marked another milestone in the effort of strengthening trade and investment, as well as to boost post-pandemic economic recovery.

3. Historically, Malaysia’s economic relations with China went way back to the 15th century between the Sultanate of Malacca and Ming Dynasty. Since then, Malaysia and China have continuously strengthened collaborations, even during COVID-19 predicaments.

4. In fact, since 2009 China has moved up to become Malaysia’s largest trading partner which accounted for eighteen point six percent (18.6%) of total trade in 2020. Malaysia’s export to China in the same year has expanded by eleven point one percent (11.1%), which comprised of thirty seven point seven seven billion US Dollars (USD37.77 billion). China was also Malaysia’s biggest import source, accounting for twenty one point five percent (21.5%) of total imports.

5. Similarly in the investment sphere, China has become Malaysia’s top investor, with investments amounting to four point four one billion US Dollars (USD4.41 billion) last year. This ranking has been maintained for the past 5 years since 2016.

6. A total of seventy one (71) manufacturing projects with participation from China were approved in 2020, and they were expected to generate more than ten thousand (10,000) employment opportunities in Malaysia.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

7. While our investment and bilateral trade are growing steadily, there are still domains of untapped economic potentials. Those are:

8. First, Digital Economy. To further accelerate our digital transformation, early this year Malaysia has launched MyDIGITAL initiative. It serves as part of the government’s plans to escalate our country’s progress as a technologically advanced economy by the year 2030.

9. This initiative will be implemented through Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint. Among others, MyDIGITAL has set a target of attracting seventeen point three two billion US Dollar (USD17.32 billion) in both international and domestic digital investments.

10. Second, Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). As Malaysia embarks on its journey towards greater digitalization, more efforts will be implemented. Such are in leveraging on the synergy of the physical and digital worlds, in order to elevate Malaysia’s competitiveness. For this reason, we have launched the 4IR, which was built upon a whole-of-nation approach through people-private-public partnerships.

11. This includes developing 4IR-enabling infrastructures for wider application of technological use while adopting agile regulatory approach. All of those are aimed at meeting the needs of the businesses in the digital economy, as well as accelerating innovation and adaptation in technology.

12. Third, Adopting Sustainable Development. Inclusive and sustainable development has always been the backbone of Malaysia’s development plans. Under the recently tabled Twelfth Malaysia Plan (12MP), sustainability of energy resources has been identified as one of the key factors in economic empowerment dimension.

13. Among others, this dimension includes the people-centric economy, green technology, renewable energy and mitigation of climate change.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

14. Such areas had already been the cornerstone of China’s trade and economic policies for many years. It has been embodied in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and China’s 14th Five Year Plan.

15. Malaysia being one of the first countries to support the BRI, wish to reaffirm our confidence that, this strategic and forward-looking initiative will open up more frontiers of connectivity. We have a firm belief that this mutual understanding will create new possibilities for growth and development across the Asia Pacific, Africa, and Central and Eastern Europe.

16. In line with Malaysia’s Shared Prosperity Vision 2030, we advocate the spirit of working together for a better future. Hence, we strongly believe Malaysia’s aspiration will resonate well with China and Canton Fair participating countries.

17. On that note, let us work together to further strengthen this cooperation. Malaysia strongly believe that this path will serve as prosperous platform in moving forward for the future and beyond,

Thank you.



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