Malaysia's exports to China may have slipped in March, but the countries' trade ties won't face a long-term hit from strains over the missing Malaysia Airlines flight, Malaysia's trade minister told CNBC.
"It's been tough in the past couple of months," Mustapa Mohamed, Malaysia's minister for international trade and industry, told CNBC.
Shortly after takeoff from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, Flight MH370 disappeared with 239 passengers and crew, about half of whom were Chinese. The search for the plane, which is suspected to have gone down in the southern Indian Ocean, continues. Malaysia's handling of the disappearance has faced sharp criticism and families of passengers have held several protests in China.
But Mustapa added, "You've got to see it at two levels. One is the official level. Another would be the people-to-people [level]."