(File pix) Photo shows the skyline of a China province, 20 April 2019. Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s visit to China, beginning on Thursday, will be focused on attracting investment in various sectors. EPA Photo

SEREMBAN: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s visit to China, beginning on Thursday, will be focused on attracting investment in various sectors.

According to Transport Minister Anthony Loke, who will accompany Dr Mahathir on his trip, Malaysia has three main aims in mind: to convince China to build factories in various industries in Malaysia; to export more raw materials, palm oil and commodities to China; and to attract more Chinese tourists.

“These are the three sectors we want to (focus on), and I’m confident these efforts will enhance our country’s economic performance.

“We are confident that the good bilateral relations between China and Malaysia will boost investment opportunities in our country.

“We cannot deny that China is a great economic power now, so like it or not, we need to attract their investment. They can provide many bilateral trade and investment opportunities for us,” he said.

Loke, who is also Seremban MP, said Malaysia collaborates with China in many fields, including railways, and cited the rolling stock centre in Batu Gajah, Perak.

“We also want increased collaboration in shipping, including in further improving our ports’ performance.

“But what we stress in our collaboration with China is that locals are given opportunities. That’s why, for the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project, we want to raise local participation,” he added.

Loke noted that the revised ECRL deal increases Malaysian companies’ role to 40 per cent of works.

As part of his four-day visit to China, Dr Mahathir will speak at a discussion and high-level meeting on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) Forum in Beijing.

He will also meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Prime Minister Li Keqiang and business leaders.