KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has secured its second batch of investment commitments from China this year as the Unity Government led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim proactively seeks investment opportunities for the benefit of the nation.

Anwar, who is also Malaysia's finance minister, was on a one-day working visit to Nanning yesterday (September 17) at the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Qiang to attend the 20th China-Asean Expo (CAEXPO).

During his one-day working trip to Nanning, China, the prime minister, accompanied by several Malaysian ministers, witnessed the exchange of three Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) worth a total of RM19.84 billion between Malaysian and Chinese companies.

Of the three MoUs, the first one with an estimated value of RM15 billion was exchanged between Citaglobal Bhd and Shanghai Sus Environment, in which both companies would explore collaborating to develop waste-to-energy power plants, primarily in Malaysia.

The second MoU, worth about RM2.34 billion, was between PM Access World and Beibu Gulf Port Group while the third MoU, with a potential export value of RM2.5 billion, was signed between Sime Darby Oils International Ltd and GuangXi Beibu Gulf International Port Group.

"The present administration is proactively seeking investment opportunities that would facilitate the country's transition towards Renewable Energy (RE).

"I suppose it will open more opportunities for Malaysian businesses, perhaps through technology transfers that would help diversify our RE portfolio," Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid told Bernama.

Apart from that, he said the potential venture with China's companies in the logistics and palm oil industries would also help to strengthen Malaysia's existing industries.

During a press conference, Anwar said the MoU between Sime Darby Oils International and GuangXi Beibu would help to protect the interest of oil palm smallholders and producers alike.

Sharing a similar view, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) hailed the MoU as good news for the palm oil industry.

"This could further enhance our market here, especially downstream. With this agreement we hope to see our export of downstream products based on palm oil increase further here," its director-general Datuk Ahmad Parveez Ghulam Kadir said.

Ahmad Parveez was earlier invited by the Chinese government to talk on palm oil trade and sustainability during the CAEXPO. He was previously invited by Tsinghua University to lead research and development pilot tests on heavy vehicles on carbon emissions using palm biodiesel which yielded positive results.

The 2023 CAEXPO and China-Asean Business and Investment Summit (CABIS) run from September 16-19.

This trip marked the second visit to China for Anwar as the Prime Minister made his maiden visit to China in March this year, where he visited Beijing and Hainan after taking office last November.

The first visit saw Malaysia secure a record RM170 billion worth of investment commitments from the world's second largest economy.

For the first six months of this year, Malaysia attracted RM132.6 billion worth of approved investments in the services, manufacturing, and primary sectors involving 2,651 projects which are expected to create 51,853 job opportunities in the country.