PUTRAJAYA: A total of 14 memoranda of understandings, agreements (MoUs/MoAs), protocol and joint statement involving nine ministries have been exchanged between Malaysia and China today, witnessed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and China Premier Li Qiang.

The documents were exchanged during Li’s official visit to Malaysia, which also marked his first visit to the country as premier, in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and China. He is here for a three-day official visit beginning Tuesday.

Nine ministries involved are the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (MITI); Finance; Agriculture and Food Security; Housing and Local Government; Home Affairs; Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI); Higher Education (MOHE); Tourism, Arts and Culture; and Communications.

On behalf of MITI, two MoUs were exchanged, on strengthening investment cooperation in the digital economy and promoting investment cooperation in green development.

Besides the MoUs, Malaysia and China also inked the second cycle of the Malaysia-China five-year programme for economic and trade cooperation to deepen further linkages between industries in priority sectors like high-level manufacturing and digital economy.

The programme would also deepen cooperation in robotics, entrepreneur development, innovation and startup, as well as research and development in agriculture and primary industries.

For the Communications Ministry, two MoUs were exchanged. The first is with the China Media Group on cooperation in the field of media, while the second MoU is to strengthen cooperation in the postal field between the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission and the China State Postal Bureau.

Under the Finance Ministry, the document exchanged was a joint statement on national single window for cross border trade initiative, while under the MOHE, the MoU on cooperation in the field of higher education while under MOSTI, on science and technology people-to-people exchange programme.

As for the Housing and Local Government Ministry, the MoU exchanged was for the fields of housing and urban development.

Earlier, both leaders had a closed door meeting to discuss bilateral relations between Malaysia and China and exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual interests.

Next, Anwar will be hosting a luncheon for Li and his Chinese delegation before departing to Shangri-la Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.

Li will also have an audience with His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim, King of Malaysia today.

Both Anwar and Li would also attend the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) groundbreaking ceremony in Gombak and conclude their schedule today with a dinner celebration for the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations.

China has been Malaysia’s largest trading partner for 15 consecutive years since 2009. Last year, total trade with China was valued at RM450.84 billion (US$98.80 billion), contributing to 17.1 per cent of Malaysia’s global trade.

To recap, the diplomatic relations between the two nations was established by the Joint Communiqué signed by Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak and Chinese Premier Chou En Lai on May 31, 1974.