BEIJING: Najib Razak begins his official visit to China today where he will meet Jack Ma of the Alibaba Group – one of the largest e-commerce giants in the world – with a view to helping Malaysia develop a digital economy.
The digital economy was identified in the recent Budget 2017 to be the new long-term economic growth strategy for the country, The Star reported.
The meeting with Ma will follow his dialogue with 30 captains of industries from China.
Ma is scheduled to give a keynote address to a 400-strong forum of businessmen from Malaysia and China, in which Najib is also expected to speak.
The prime minister will also launch the Alitrip Malaysia Tourism Pavilion, an e-commerce platform to facilitate tourism with countries, particularly with China where Malaysia expects to bring in four million tourists next year.
Malaysia and China will be signing at least 10 government-to-government Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on economy, tourism, construction, education and defence during Najib’s visit.
Malaysia’s Ambassador to China Zainuddin Yahya said the private sector will also be inking more than 10 business and investment agreements.
“This visit – the third official visit – is important and significant in the context of bilateral relations and maintaining good relations between the prime minister and top leaders of China,” said the Ambassador at a press conference ahead of Najib’s visit.
He will be met by China’s Deputy Foreign Minister Liu Zhenming on arrival.
There will be an official welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of The People by China’s Prime Minister Le Keqiang.
The Great Hall is an important venue for China to hold state affairs and diplomatic activities.
Zainuddin said Najib was expected to hold a bilateral meeting with with Li on commerce and investment, education, defence, agriculture, tourism as well as science and technogy.
Both will issue a joint press statement after their meeting, which will be followed by an official dinner hosted by Li for the entire Malaysian delegation at the Great Hall.
On Thursday, Najib will meet President Xi Jinping at Daioyutai State Guest House.
Thereafter, Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan will host a dinner for Najib and his huge delegation.
Najib will also take a 30 minute ride on a high speed train from Beijing to Tianjin. He will also visit Gu’an New Industrial Park in Hebei Province and dine with the Malaysian community and students in Beijing.