KUALA LUMPUR: China is interested in collaborating with Malaysia in the halal industry, covering certification, services, and halal products, says Datuk Mohamad Alamin.

The Deputy Foreign Minister said the matter was conveyed by Premier Li Qiang during a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi during the latter’s official visit to China recently.

“During a courtesy call on Premier Li Qiang, the Deputy Prime Minister took the opportunity to inform him about the global halal industry, which was worth US$3.1trillion in 2018, growing by 4.1% each year, and is expected to reach US$5 trillion by 2030,” he told the Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday (July 3) in response to a question from Tan Kok Wai (PH-Cheras) about the outcome of Ahmad Zahid’s visit to China in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of Malaysia-China bilateral relations.

Mohamad said that during the visit, Ahmad Zahid, who is also the Rural and Regional Development Minister, took the opportunity to explore cooperation opportunities between Malaysia and China in Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET), connectivity, and people-to-people relations.

“The two leaders also exchanged views on regional and international issues involving mutual interests including high technology, renewable energy, digital economy, and semiconductors,” he added.

According to him, the official visit succeeded in achieving the goal of strengthening bilateral relations and maintaining the existing understanding between Malaysia and China.

Meanwhile, in response to a supplementary question from Zakri Hassan (PN-Kangsar) on the South China Sea issue, Mohamad said Malaysia is firm in defending the country’s sovereignty and will use all available platforms to negotiate with China, which is reported to have deployed its warships to the area.

“We will not compromise on sovereignty and will use existing mechanisms to continue negotiations, including on the Code of Conduct (COC) dealing with the South China Sea issue,” he said. – Bernama