Malaysian PM begins China visit

Malaysian PM begins China visit

Anwar Ibrahim continues with busy schedule of confidence-building overseas trips

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim addresses the Invest Malaysia conference in Kuala Lumpur on March 8. (Photo: Bloomberg)
Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim addresses the Invest Malaysia conference in Kuala Lumpur on March 8. (Photo: Bloomberg)

Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim is making his first official visit to China, where he will meet with President Xi Jinping as part of efforts to reinvigorate relations in the post-pandemic era.

Mr Anwar, who will be in China from Wednesday through Saturday, will also meet with his Chinese counterpart Li Qiang to discuss bilateral cooperation, including trade and investment and food security, according to Malaysia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

“The visit is expected to fortify economic relations, which will surely result in greater trade and investment flows,” the ministry said.

China has been Malaysia’s largest trading partner since 2009. Total trade between the two nations touched 487.1 billion ringgit (about $110 billion) in 2022. China was also the top investor in Malaysia last year, contributing 21% of the $59 billion worth of investments the counry approved in 2022. 

Mr Anwar is also due to attend the Boao Forum for Asia in the southern province of Hainan on Thursday.

His visit to China is the first by a Malaysian leader since former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad’s trip in April 2019.

Mr Anwar has travelled to Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Turkey and Saudi Arabia since becoming prime minister, seeking to strengthen economic ties and his standing among Malaysians after years of political instability.

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