Kuala Lumpur: Tan Sri Lim Gait Tong, President of China-ASEAN Business Association (CABA), said that the association in the past 2 years conducted 18 courtesy calls to various associations of ASEAN countries and Malaysia. These meetings increased communication and laid the groundwork for good relationships. Although the association was only established for a short period of two years, the effort in promoting China-ASEAN trade relationship has been recognized.
For year 2018, Malaysia-China trade relationship continues to flourish and hit a new high in the calendar year (US$108.625 billion). Malaysia remains as China’s 2nd largest trading partner in ASEAN.
For ASEAN as a whole, China and ASEAN’s bilateral trade volume reached US$587.872 billion, a year-on-year increase of 14.1%. ASEAN is China’s third largest trading partner, behind the EU (US$682.164 billion) and the US (US$633.519 billion). However, CABA also noted that the growth rate of trade between the two major economies and China is only 10.6% and 8.5%, which is lower than the growth rate between ASEAN and China. So this is an opportunity and growth trend provide great potential for Malaysian exporters.
China-ASEAN Business Association (CABA) was founded in 2017 and approved by the Registrar of Societies of Malaysia. As a non-profit and non-governmental organization, CABA is a business promotion group and will coordinate the communication between chambers of commerce, industrial associations, trade institutions and enterprises within China and ASEAN, under the framework of China-ASEAN Free Trade Area to promote trade and investment cooperation in this region.
On this note, CABA is also pleased to share that on 25th January last year, the ASEAN Business Council (CABC) presented a Special Award of Outstanding Contribution in Promoting Economic ties between China and ASEAN to Tan Sri Lim Gait Tong.This is also to recognize his effort in helping bilateral ties for the last 30 years.
CABA is one of the five cooperation mechanisms between China and ASEAN and will facilitate the dialogue mechanism between the two sides. CABC was established in November 2001 where the ceremony was attended by the then Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji who officiated the Council establishment.
Tan Sri Lim Gait Tong issued a statement saying that the China-ASEAN Business Association (CABA) has been established since the two years and is committed to promoting cooperation and understanding between China and ASEAN countries. Efforts in this regard include courtesy meeting with the Minister of International Trade and Industry of Malaysia Datuk Darell Leiking, the Deputy Secretary-General of the ASEAN Secretariat Dr. Aladdin D. Rillo, and the Chinese Ambassador to ASEAN Mr Huang Xilian, etc. There were good exchange of views on the important economic and trade issues between China and ASEAN.
In addition, Tan Sri Lim personally led delegations to visit political, economic and cultural organizations related to China-ASEAN, including the embassies of Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines in China, Chinese business icon in Thailand Mr. Amorn Apithanakoon and other leaders, Chinese business icon in Philippines Dr Henry Lim Boon Liong, and Chairman of Canadia Bank in Cambodia Mr. Pung Kheav Se and other leaders.
Tan Sri Lim pointed out that the activities of CABA were more diversified in 2018. In addition to the courtesy calls and receiving visitors, the association successfully organised several events including the ASEAN China Film Festival to promote the film industry of China and ASEAN. It also organised the China – ASEAN Trade Seminar” to provide exploration of business opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises. CABA actively participated in many international conferences in the past two years, such as the International Symposium on celebrating 15th Anniversary of ASEAN-CHINA Strategic Partnership at Nanning in March 2018. CABA also attended the Reception Celebrating The 15th Anniversary of ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership & In Honor of H.E Chen DeHai as the Sec Gen of ASEAN-China Centre in August, and participated in the China-ASEAN Expo in September, 2018.