By Niam Seet Wei
XIAMEN (China), Sept 8 (Bernama) — Malaysia has urged Chinese companies to take advantage of the good relationship between both countries to tap into a wider market base within ASEAN countries.
Malaysia, which has served as China’s gateway to ASEAN and the Middle East, would also unify the markets, especially when it assumes the chairmanship of ASEAN and hosts the ASEAN Summit in 2015, said the Prime Minister’s special envoy to China, Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting.
Speaking at the International Investment Forum 2014 in Xiamen, Monday, he said next year would be an exciting year for ASEAN countries, and the public could expect the emergence of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).
Ong said Malaysia provides an extremely competitive business environment for foreign entrepreneurs.
“We have a skilled, multilingual labour force, as well as some of the most affordable costs of living in the region and easy connectivity from any part of the country,” he said.
Government bodies such as the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) and Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) would facilitate and provide further details and guidance for foreign investors, he said.
The forum is being held in conjunction with the official opening by Chinese vice-premier Wang Yang of the 18th China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT) being held on Sept 8-11.
Malaysia is named as the guest country of honour for the 18th CIFIT.
The event, jointly organised by the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) and Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce (MCCC), is also supported by MITI.
Ong said he views CIFIT as another excellent platform to reinforce the strong relationships and cooperation between Malaysia and China, adding that he believes Chinese entrepreneurs would benefit from linkages with Malaysia.
Earlier, Ong opened the Malaysian national pavilion and launched the “40 Years of Glory” photography exhibition in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and China.
Also present were ACCCIM president Datuk Lim Kok Cheong, MCCC president Datuk Bong Hon Liong, MIDA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Datuk Azman Mahmud, MATRADE Deputy CEO Datuk Dzulkifli Mahmud, Technical Advisor to the Special Envoy Datuk Fong Tian Yong and Minister Counsellor (Economy) in the Malaysian Embassy in China, Ong Chong Yi.
A Malaysian delegation of more than 600 businessmen and government officials were invited to the event.