BEIJING – China emerged as Malaysia’s second largest investor in the manufacturing sector in the first eight months of 2016 with investments of RM2.4 billion in 20 approved manufacturing projects.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said China is involved in supporting some flagship projects that would play a huge role in Malaysia’s transformation into a high-income status nation and beyond.
Among others, Malaysia hosts some of China’s giants such as China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation, Alliance Steel, Sinohydro Corporation Ltd, Comtech Solar International, and Longi.
“Even in these difficult times for the global economy, Malaysia and China partnership is strengthening,” he said in his luncheon address at the Malaysia-China Business Forum themed “Strengthening Cooperation, Building Opportunities” here Tuesday.
The luncheon was attended by more than 400 Chinese and Malaysian businessmen.
Najib, who is on a six-day official visit to China since Monday, said Chinese companies had contributed much to Malaysia’s economy, just as Malaysian
companies had to China’s growth.
He said Malaysia’s total trade with China had also increased two per cent during the January-June period this year compared with the same period in 2015.
Among the flagship projects that China is participating are the integrated underground city known as “Bandar Malaysia” which is jointly developed by China Railway Group Limited (CREC) with Iskandar Waterfront Holdings, and the the Melaka Gateway, a mega development project being developed by Powerchina International Group with KAJ Development.
Najib, who is also finance minister, said other notable companies in the Malaysian services sectors, include Country Garden and Greenland Group in real estate, Xiamen University in education, and ZTE Corp and Huawei Centre of Excellence in communications.
He said with such strong business ties and greater air connectivity, the trade and business relations between both nations was set to flourish further.
“And, the greater air connectivity we have today, with Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia now providing services to many Chinese cities, and with a charter flight service from Guangdong to Melaka starting last month, will only encourage the creation of new ties,” he added.
Najib said Malaysia also offered unmatched connectivity and was well positioned as a strategic business partner within the ASEAN region, which collectively the seventh largest economy and predicted to become the fourth largest by 2050.
Over 1,500 Malaysian companies are operating in ASEAN.
Malaysian banks such as Maybank, CIMB, RHB and Public Bank, and telecommunication companies, including DiGi, Maxis and TM, all have deep regional footprints.
Other regional players include YTL, AirAsia and Malindo, he cited.
“We have strong foundations in the manufacturing sector, and a multi-ethnic and multi-lingual workforce that can effectively communicate with most of the markets near and far,” he added. – BERNAMA