International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said China is a very important player and trading partner to the world, and not just for Malaysia.
"As far as Asean and Malaysia are concerned, China is the foremost trading partner, and it (devaluation) is having an impact. But, we have to keep on strengthening relations," he told a press conference here today ahead of the 47th Asean Economic Ministers' Meeting.
Commenting on the progress of the realisation of the Asean Economic Community (AEC), Mustapa said there would be no roll-back on the numerous initiatives towards it.
"The present economic challenges like weaker regional currencies and sharp drop in oil and other commodity prices, will make us even stronger towards achieving closer economic integration.
"Malaysia, as Asean chairman, will play its role in further intensifying closer economic ties between the member states and dialogue partners," he added.
When asked if the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) will steal the limelight from the discussion on the AEC, he said this would not be the case.
The Asean Economic Ministers' Meeting which began today ends on Aug 25. — Bernama