KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia and China will sign several memorandums of understanding to further strengthen trade and bilateral relations in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of diplomacy between both countries.

Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz said the ministry (Miti) has lined up to sign four MoUs with China, all of which are on the high-tech and trade sectors, at the end of this month.

“Several other ministries will also be involved in the MoUs with China.

“Detailed information will be provided later with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in attendance to witness the signing of the MoUs at the end of May,” he told Bernama after an interview on Bernama Radio’s “Malaysia-China Golden Jubilee” programme here today.

Malaysia officially established diplomatic relations with China on May 31, 1974, thus becoming the first Asean country to extend a hand of friendship to Beijing.

Tengku Zafrul said Chinese Premier Li Qiang is scheduled to visit Malaysia at the end of this month to mark five decades of ties between both countries that will boost confidence in Chinese and local investors to increase investment in addition to gaining wider market access to both countries.

He said China is Malaysia’s largest trading partner and a major foreign direct investment source.

“In 2023, China was among the five largest sources of foreign investment into Malaysia with a total investment worth US$3.15 billion (RM14.8 billion).

“The sectors that are the focus of investors from China are mostly in the electrical and electronics sector, machinery and equipment as well as chemicals and chemical products,” said the minister.

Tengku Zafrul noted that total trade between Malaysia and China between January and April increased 5.9% to RM151.06 billion compared to the same period last year.

“The approved investment report for the first quarter of 2024 is expected to be issued by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority in June. I am optimistic that the investment value for the period will show positive data, in line with the growth of bilateral trade and economic relations that are getting closer,” he added.