International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said this has been made possible with the full implementation of the Asean-China Free Trade Agreement and the recently signed Malaysia-China Five Year Economic and Trade Cooperation Programme.
"With the continuous and active support of the local business community, Malaysia is on track to becoming only the third Asian country to surpass $100 billion (RM322.4 billion) in trade with China.
"Last year, bilateral trade between Malaysia and China, stood at more than $94 billion (RM303.1 billion).
"This makes China Malaysia's largest trading partner. It also makes Malaysia China's largest trading partner among the Asean countries. I am confident that the targeted $160 billion (RM515.9 billion) in bilateral trade between the two countries within the next five years is achievable," he added.
He also said Malaysia should do more to encourage the flow of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) from China.
"As of 2012, Malaysia's cumulative FDI into China stood at $6.3 billion (RM20.3 billion). Malaysia and China are committed to providing various opportunities to deepen our economic engagement," he said in his keynote address at the Malaysia-China Entrepreneur Conference (MCEC) 2013.
Mustapa said the Five Year Economic and Trade Cooperation Programme, signed during Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Malaysia last October, would take bilateral trade relations between both countries to a higher level.
He said the programme, coordinated by his ministry and China's Ministry of Commerce, outlined specific areas of economic and trade cooperation.
At a press conference, Mustapa said over the next five years, China is encouraging huge outward investments.
"It is about $500 billion (RM1.6 trillion) over a five-year period, which is $100 billion (RM322.4 billion) per annum. That's the amount of money Chinese companies are investing overseas.
"I've been telling my people (at the ministry) if we can get 5% of that at $5 billion (RM16.1 billion), it would be a big success.
"But it may be difficult to get this, as we only have around $1 billion (RM3.22 billion) (at present) in Chinese investment in the country. So, that is the challenge, and we have to work harder to try and secure a share of the $100 billion (RM322.4 billion)," he said.
Co-organised by the Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce and TNT Express Malaysia, the third installment of the MCEC yesterday saw the participation of 500 international participants and some 800 locals.
The conference serves as a platform for business exchange for the Malaysia-China market while providing opportunities for the exchange of ideas.
This is alongside the exploration and expansion of networking, leading to an overall improvement and increase in trade exchange and collaboration between both countries. - Bernama, December 2, 2013.