KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia and China's bilateral trade for this year is on track to surpass US$100 billion again after having posted US$108.6 billion in 2018.
Ministry of Entrepreneur Development deputy secretary general (policy and strategic planning) Dr Anis Mahmud is confident of the target, as for the first nine months of this year, bilateral trade between the two nations have already totalled US$889.75 billion.
"I think, this year, Malaysia-China trade has the potential to exceed last year's figures to achieve a new record," he said.
He highlighted trade between the two nations has grown by leaps and bounds in more than four decades.
When Malaysia first established diplomatic ties with China in 1974 bilateral trade was just US$159 million.
Today, Dr Anis officiated at the closing ceremony of the Malaysia-China Trade and Tourism Summit 2019 held here.
In this three-day event, there were more than 30 exhibition booths showcasing luxury properties in Malaysia for sale, health & fitness products, fashionable jewellery and handbags, cultural handicrafts, traditional Chinese tea and herbs from Yunnan.
Also present were Malaysia's veteran singer DJ Dave, cultural dancing troupe from China's Yunnan Province and Malaysia-China Trade and Tourism Summit 2019 organising chairperson Poris Lee.
For the past decade, China is Malaysia's biggest trading partner. Dr Anis is optimistic of bilateral trade relations will continue to be stronger in the future.
In a related topic, he said Malaysia could expect to receive more high spending tourists. Last year, 2.94 million tourists from China visited Malaysia. This is 29 per cent more than 2017's 2.28 million.
Next year, he estimated, more than three million Chinese tourists would spend their holidays in Malaysia in view of heavy promotional activities highlighting Visit Malaysia Year 2020.