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Malaysia Can Become Hub For ASEAN Market

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HONG KONG – Malaysia can become a hub for distributing products from overseas to the ASEAN market for which Hong Kong has grown itself into for decades.

Hence, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi urged Malaysian investors to take advantage of the vast opportunities before them with the signing of the Free-Trade Agreement (FTA) between ASEAN and Hong Kong.

He said Malaysian entrepreneurs and business sectors should translate the FTA to create investment opportunities between the two countries.

“We can see that this opportunity is wide open as all this while they (investors) have invested in some countries outside of Hong Kong, especially China.

“And this is the best opportunity not just in terms of investment but also as a two-way trade between our country and Hong Kong,” he said.

Ahmad Zahid said Hong Kong had become the gateway for goods from Malaysia to several countries, particularly its neighbouring countries.

“I think this role of transshipment country can be expanded, not just being a channel and distribution centre for goods from our country.

“But at the same time, Malaysia should be a transshipment country to channel products just like the role Hong Kong has played,” he told Malaysian media here today.

Ahmad Zahid is here to deliver his keynote address at the 9th World Chinese Economic Summit (WCES), a major international event aimed at enhancing business relationships and networks between China and ASEAN.

Themed “Managing Global Uncertainty: Exploring New Opportunities”, the two-day summit gathers government, business and academic and thought leaders to commemorate and celebrate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the signing of the ASEAN-Hong Kong Free-Trade Agreement (FTA) which complements the China-ASEAN FTA.

The event is organised by the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (ASLI).

Ahmad Zahid said the role of transshipment country could be played by Malaysia for all ASEAN countries as it has good ports and infrastructures, as well as broader communication channels.

He said the launch of the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) at KLIA Aeropolis would turn Malaysia into a hub for products from Hong Kong to ports and infrastructure that had been upgraded through the transshipment system. – BERNAMA

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