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Malaysia can use Guangzhou as gateway, says Ong

Courtesy call: Ong (left) meeting Ren in Guangzhou.

GUANGZHOU: There are ample opportunities for trade and other exchanges between Malaysia and Guangzhou, the capital of China’s Guangdong province, said the Prime Minister’s special envoy to China Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting.

Ong, who is leading a delegation of businessmen and Malacca state councillors, said close ties could boost trade and tourism.

“Our enterprises, including exporters of value-added products from palm oil and timber, can go through ports in Guangzhou to enter China,” he said after meeting Communist Party of China’s secretary for Guangzhou Ren Xuefeng yesterday.

Close relations between Malaysia and Guangdong can be seen in the volume of goods passing between these two regions, which accounted for a quarter of bilateral trade between Malaysia and China. At the meeting, Ren said the city was targeting an economic growth of 8% this year.

Earlier, the delegation visited Nansha Free Trade Zone, which is one of the development zones under the Guangdong Pilot Free Trade Zone.

Ong proposed exchanges between the authorities of Nansha port and coastal cities along the Malacca Strait, and asked Nansha to share its expertise on effective Customs clearance, infrastructure and management.

He said Malaysia could grab the opportunities offered by Guangzhou, which has been entrusted by Guangdong to embark on port city collaborations with other countries.

“There are lots of things for us to learn and explore for mutual benefit, and we can also look into the possibility of developing trade zones in Malaysia along the coastline,” said Ong.

In response, Nansha officials said they were always interested to invest in the development of foreign ports.

by Tho Xin Yi

SOURCE: The Star, 8 July 2014.

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