GEORGE TOWN, Nov 10 — Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow today paid a courtesy call on the Vice-President of China Han Zheng, who made a stopover in Penang while on a four-day official visit to Malaysia starting on Wednesday.
The courtesy call was held at Shangri-la Rasa Sayang at about 6.30 pm and lasted for about 30 minutes.
Han Zheng led a 14-strong delegation from China while Chow was joined by the Penang state executive councillors.
Chow said the visit underlined the close relationship between Malaysia and China, who will celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations next year, adding that in recent times, many Chinese leaders have also included Penang on their official itinerary, besides Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.
He hoped that the strategic relationship between the two nations would continue to have a positive impact in terms of investment, where Malaysia is now one of the focus of investments in Southeast Asia by Chinese companies amidst the ongoing trade war between China and the United States.
“We also discussed issues on education, especially on how to harness talent to support development and so on. We hope it can bring good tidings in terms of investment.
“I believe this visit, including to Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur, comes at a time that suits the changes in trade and investment in the region, ahead of the 50th anniversary of Malaysia-China diplomatic relations which will be celebrated in 2024,” he said after his courtesy call here tonight.
In addition, Chow also presented a souvenir to the Chinese vice president, which is a gold-coloured tiered bowl which is part of the Malaysian folk tradition that has been practised since time immemorial, while Han Zheng presented a Chinese teapot set as a souvenir to the state government as a token of gratitude.
The delegation from China is scheduled to leave tomorrow at noon via Penang International Airport, ending Han Zheng’s four-day official visit to Malaysia.
For over a decade, China has stood as Malaysia’s largest trading partner. In 2022, the total trade between Malaysia and China reached RM487.13 billion (US$110.62 billion), reflecting a 15.6 per cent increase from 2021.
China also emerged as the largest foreign direct investor in Malaysia for 2022, with investments amounting to RM55.4 billion (US$12.5 billion).