BEIJING: China is optimistic Malaysia's exports to the country will increase gradually, said spokesman of China's General Administration of Customs (GAC), Huang Songping.
He said in the first half of the year, trade between Malaysia and China hit 299.7 billion yuan (US$48.9 billion), up 1.6% from a year earlier.
"Exports to Malaysia grew 7.1% year-on-year (yoy) in the first six months of the year to 140.1 billion yuan (US$22.9 billion), while imports from Malaysia fell 2.8% yoy to 160 billion yuan (US$26 billion), leaving a trade surplus of 19 billion yuan (US$3.1 billion)," he told a press conference here on Monday.
Huang was asked if the world's second largest economy, which is also the second largest export market of Malaysia, would increase its imports from Malaysia following the depreciation of the ringgit recently.
He said Malaysia was China's largest trading partner in ASEAN.
"Following a further development of trade between both countries, I have positive expectations that exports from Malaysia to China will increase gradually, he said.
Data released by the GAC today showed China's exports in June rose 2.8% yoy to US$192 billion, while imports fell 6.1% to US$145 billion, leaving a trade surplus of US$46.5 billion.
In the first six months of the year, China's exports rose one per cent yoy, while imports slumped 15.5% yoy, leaving a trade surplus of US$263 billion, it said.
In the same period, trade between China and Vietnam, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand rose 16.6% (US$42.3 billion), 6.6% (US$21.1 billion), 6% (US$39 billion) and 4.5% (US$35 billion) yoy, respectively, while trade with Indonesia fell 17.7 per cent (US$27 billion) from a year earlier.
In the first half of the year, trade with the US and ASEAN jumped 4% and 1.6% yoy, respectively, while trade with the European Union and Japan slipped 6.7% and 10.7%, respectively, from a year earlier.
The Chinese government has set economic growth target at around 7% this year, down from 7.5% in 2014.- Bernama