GUANGZHOU: Malaysia’s competitive edge in the economic sector presents opportunities to investors from China, said the Prime Minister’s special envoy to China Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting.
In his keynote address at the Sixth Malaysia-China (Guangdong) Economic and Trade Cooperation Conference, Ong drew attention to the country’s economic performance as acknowledged by the world’s authoritative reports.
“The Global Competitiveness Index 2014-2015 by the World Economic Forum places Malaysia 20th among 144 countries while the World Bank’s 2014 Logistics Performance Index puts Malaysia at 25th spot out of 160 countries.
“Malaysia is also among the top 20 investor-friendly destinations in the Business Environment Ranking 2014-2018 by the Economic Intelligence Unit,” Ong said.
The conference was jointly organised by the Malaysia-Guangdong Chamber of Investment and Promotion and the Guangdong committee of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, and supported by the Malaysia-China Business Council.
About 300 representatives from both Malaysian and Chinese companies attended the event for business matching opportunities.
The southern province of Guangdong is an important trade partner, with Malaysia-Guangdong bilateral trade recorded at US$25bil (RM95.2bil) last year, which was a quarter of the two-way trade between both countries.
Malaysia and China are striving for a bilateral trade of US$160bil (RM609.2bil) by 2017.
Ong said the strong collaboration between Malaysia and Guangdong would create a foundation for Malaysia’s participation in the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (MSR) proposal put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“The sea ports along the Straits of Malacca, including Port Klang, Port of Tanjung Pelepas and Penang Port, provide many investment opportunities,” he said.
Guangdong is in the midst of exploring the possibilities of establishing a “friendly province and state” status with Malacca.
Its vice-governor Zhao Yufang, who also spoke at the conference, proposed an alliance of port cities to be formed between those in Guangdong, such as Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Shantou, and their counterparts in Malaysia.
“We can explore cooperation in logistics and marine economy, among others.
“A forum on port cities will be held in Guangzhou in conjunction with the international expo on 21st century MSR in Dongguan in October,” she said.
by Tho Xin Yi
SOURCE: The Star, 7 July 2014.