Malaysia confident in China-ASEAN FTA upgrade protocol for greater access to Chinese market

KUALA LUMPUR (Xinhua) – Malaysia’s agricultural sector received a boost in June, after the country started shipping whole frozen durian to China.

With the upgrade protocol of the free trade area (FTA) between China and the ASEAN, Malaysian officials are confident that Malaysia will have greater access to the Chinese market.

Trade between Malaysia and China is set for a further growth with the upgrading protocol of China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (CAFTA), especially in agricultural products, predicted Malaysian Agriculture and Agro-based Minister Salahuddin Ayub. Malaysia welcomed every effort to smoothen trade and increase exports of Malaysian agricultural products from local farmers to Chinese consumers, benefitting both sides in a win-win situation, Salahuddin told Xinhua recently.

“Of course Malaysia welcomes efforts to smoothen agricultural exports to China and other markets. In fact, our exports to China with regards to tropical fruits such as durian have increased since whole fruits were allowed in,” he said.

“With this upgrade, it is hoped that a whole range of Malaysian agricultural products will find their way to China’s consumers, benefitting those in the Malaysian agricultural sector.” Salahuddin pointed to his recent trip to Wuhan, capital of central China’s Hubei Province, where he learnt first-hand of the huge popularity of Malaysian fruits in the country.

“During my visit to Wuhan, China in promoting the Musang King durian and in dialogue with our industry players, we saw light at the end of the tunnel that our tropical fruits are of great interest in China as well as other countries that receive our products,” he said.

He added that strong trade bonds with China would not only boost Malaysia’s income but also create jobs in the country.