The China-Asean Business Association (Caba) said the region’s trade with China grew at 14.1 per cent, while valued at US$587.9 billion (US$1=RM4.11).
“It was faster than the growth with the European Union (EU) and the United States (US), although the trade value was lower compared with US$682.2 billion and US$633.5 billion respectively.
“The growth rate of trade between these two economies (EU and US) and China was only 10.6 per cent and 8.5 per cent respectively.
“So, this is an opportunity and the growth trend provides great potential for Malaysian exporters,” said the association’s president, Tan Sri Lim Gait Tong, in a statement yesterday.
In 2018, he said Malaysia remained China’s second largest trading partner in Asean, with trade hitting a new high of US$108.625 billion.
“Caba is committed to promoting cooperation and understanding between China and Asean and since its establishment in 2017, has conducted 18 meetings with various Asean and Malaysian associations.
“We also organised a meeting between International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Darell Leiking, Asean Economic Community deputy secretary-general Dr Aladdin D Rillo and China’s ambassador to Asean, Huang Xilian.
“There was a good exchange of views on important economic and trade issues between China and Asean,” he added.