Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting, Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to China received a courtesy call by HE Mr Chen Yunxian, Vice Governor of Guangdong Province in Guangdong, China on 11 September 2014 before chairing the Malaysia-Guangdong High Level Economic Cooperation Roundtable Meeting at Guangdong Grand Hyatt Hotel.
Tan Sri Ong expressed Malaysian Government’s emphasis to expand trade and investment between Malaysia and Guangdong province in view that the current bilateral trade between the two regions accounted for about one quarter of the total Malaysian trade with China up to USD 106 Billion in 2013. He further pointed out that Malaysian Chinese and Guangdong share a special relationship as most Malaysian Chinese ancestors had their roots from Guangdong. During the last state visit by Guangdong Party Secretary, HE Hu Chunhua in April 2014 had indicated Guangdong Province’s interest to establish a special committee to expand the bilateral trade between Malaysia and Guangdong province. Tan Sri Ong conveyed Malaysian government’s seriousness to operationalize this special committee to facilitate the bilateral trade in a most efficient and effective manner with the goal of achieving bilateral trade of USD 40 Billion between these two regions by 2017.
Vice Governor Chen expressed the same interest and aspiration of Guangdong Provincial Government to further expand the trade between Guangdong Province and Malaysia as well as fostering closer cooperation in all areas such as culture, tourism, education, health and social exchanges in view of the long history of close tie between the two regions.
Vice Governor then made an introduction on Guangdong Province with its 100 million population and GDP of USD1.0 trillion, which is almost 11 % of China’s GDP. Guangdong has been the largest base for oil palm from Malaysia to enter the China market and Malaysia has also been Guangdong largest trading partner in ASEAN.
On the economic front, the Guangdong Provincial government’s three Development Zones of Pearl River Delta Economic Zone will be of interest to Malaysian investors. There are the Shenzhen Qianhai zone for manufacturing, logistics and financial development; Zuhai Henqin zone for financial and service industry and Nansha zone for national level development.
The Vice Governor and his high level team of six officials later joined Tan Sri Ong in attending the Malaysia Guangdong High Level Economic Cooperation Roundtable Meeting organized by Ministry of International Trade and Investment Malaysia, MATRADE and MIDA at the same hotel. The meeting was chaired by Tan Sri Ong and attended by representatives of established Guangdong business figures while Malaysian side was represented by officers from MITI, MATRADE and MIDA. The common views and feedback from the business sector from Guangdong on Malaysia as trade destination are the relative stable political environment, lower cost of doing business, rich resources and linguistics advantages. However, some issues were raised during the dialogue which were compiled by MITI officers for the following up action.
Tan Sri Ong expressed his satisfaction with the outcome of the meeting where enquires, issues were discussed in details and constructive views proposed.