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China, Malaysia sign trade deals

MALAYSIA: China’s President Hu Jintao presided over the signing of a raft of deals with Malaysia Wednesday and indicated an interest in its vast palm oil and timber sectors.

Hu, who is wrapping up a two-day official visit, and Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak witnessed the signing of five agreements and the awarding of a major infrastructure project to a Chinese firm.

Malaysia’s Bank Negara and the China Banking Regulatory Commission signed a deal to increase cooperation in banking supervision, in what finance officials said was a likely prelude to China being granted a banking license here.

“Today’s signing ... will open a new era of cooperation in the financial sector between the two countries,” Najib said as the two leaders addressed the media.

“This is very meaningful in view of the current global challenge as well as our goal to deepen integration of our two economies,” he added.

The other four deals include plans to cooperate in the education sector and in the sewerage services industry, Najib said that Hu, whose country has an insatiable demand for natural resources to fuel its economic expansion, indicated an interest in Malaysia’s vast palmoil and timber sectors.“President Hu remarked about China’s intention to increase the amount of trade with respect to palmoil and Malaysian timber,” he said, without giving further details.

Najib said Malaysia would award a major infrastructure rail project in southern Johor state to a Chinese company, but gave no further details.

News reports have said that the double-track rail project would be worth about 7.5 billion ringgit (2.2 billion dollars) and built by a consortium of China Railway Engineering Corporation and China Railway Telecommunication Centre (CRET).Wednesday, AFP

 

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