KOTA KINABALU, Sept 21— China’s trade volume with Sabah registered an increase of 1.2 per cent for the first six months this year, said chief minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor.
He said that the total volume was valued at RM6.56 billion.
“As the economic and trade cooperation between Malaysia and China continue to progress, I look forward to more China trade and investments into Sabah,” said Hajiji at the Republic of China’s 74th National Day celebration here.
China is currently Malaysia’s largest trading partner, and the latter ranks near the top of the former’s trading partners in South-east Asia.
Hajiji’s speech was read by Deputy Chief Minister II Datuk Seri Dr Joachim Gunsalam.
On tourism, Hajiji said arrivals from China were also growing steadily since the full reopening of China’s border in March this year.
“For the first six months this year, there were 17,040 Chinese visitors — an increase of 680.6 per cent compared to only 2,188 in the corresponding period last year.
“Sabah is connected to seven major cities in China with 54 weekly flights and seat capacity of 9,861. We hope to see more air connectivity to increase visitor arrivals from China to Sabah,” he said.
“The upward trend in overall visitor arrivals to Sabah, totalling 1,198,536 arrivals from January to June of this year, is a good sign as this has generated an RM2.45 billion tourism receipt for Sabah. This represented a 69.1 per cent increase compared to the corresponding period last year,” he said.
Moving forward, he said Sabah was looking forward to more cooperation with China in areas such as green energy, manufacturing, high technology agriculture, and smart city construction among others, for win-win private-public partnerships.