Hanoi (VNA) – With upgrades to the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (CAFTA), Malaysia is confident it will have greater access to the Chinese market.

Malaysian Agriculture and Agro-based Minister Salahuddin Ayub predicted that trade between Malaysia and China will grow, especially in agriculture, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Malaysia welcomed efforts to increase exports of Malaysian agricultural products to China, benefiting both sides in a win-win situation, the official said.

He added that strong trade bonds with China will boost Malaysia's income and create jobs in the country.

The Malaysian government's special envoy to China Tan Kok Wai said the upgrade is a positive development as ASEAN has surpassed the US to become China's second biggest trade partner.

The amount of Malaysian tropical fruits such as durian exported to China has increased since China opened its market to the produce in June. Durian exports to China are expected to contribute nearly 500 million ringgit (120 million USD) to the nation's total export value annually.

The Malaysian government is also expecting to boost shipments of other goods to China, including palm oil, petrochemical products, manufactured goods and agricultural products.

The CAFTA upgrade protocol officially signed on November 22, 2015, took effect in July 2016. The pact have enabled tropical fruits such as mangosteen and durian from ASEAN member states to enter the Chinese market, and allowed China's temperate fruits to access the ASEAN market./.