KUALA LUMPUR, April 24 (Xinhua) -- Businesses between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will benefit from the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the Malaysian External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) said on Wednesday.
Speaking at the promotion conference of the 16th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO), MATRADE Deputy Chief Executive Officer Sharimahton Mat Saleh said the BRI would boost trade between China and ASEAN sector of the initiative.
"The Chinese government had earmarked CAEXPO as one of the key initiatives under the ambitious Belt and Road Initiative. This is reflected by the CAEXPO 2019 theme - Building Belt and Road Routes, Realising Our Vision for a Community of Shared Future."
"CAEXPO is a strategic entry platform for Malaysian companies to tap into not only China but the ASEAN markets too," she said.
Sharimahton added that Malaysia would continue to enthusiastically support the participation in the exposition, and was seeking to gain greater access for Malaysian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) into China's second-tier cities as these is a huge untapped market.
"China has a population of (nearly) 1.4 billion people and often we overlook the fact there are various pockets of opportunities within China alone."
Also present was Yang Yanyan, the vice secretary-general of the CAEXPO Secretariat, who explained that the exposition upholds the objectives of facilitating development of the China-ASEAN and remains open to the world in the meantime.
"It serves the common interests of all countries concerned by turning their different needs and demands into concrete business opportunities."
"It is its special roles in economic globalization and regional integration that has gained the CAEXPO strong endorsement of governments of the 11 countries," she added.
The promotion conference in Kuala Lumpur is the third after two similar ones in the Malaysian states of Penang and Sabah, aimed at gathering participants for the 16th CAEXPO scheduled to be held from Sept. 20 to Sept. 23 in Nanning, China.