Kuala Lumpur, Jan 15: International Trade and Industry Minister Dato’ Seri Mustapa Mohamed has given the thumbs-up to the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to China Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting for his immense contribution towards Qinzhou Industrial Park (QIP), saying that without him QIP would not be such a success and in turn, further enhance the trade relationship between Malaysia and China.
He said the joint-venture project had ushered in more Chinese investments to Malaysia, thereby narrowing the investment gap and changed the past investment trend when more Malaysians were investing in China.
Tan Sri Ong, a former MCA President and Cabinet Minister, is also the Chairman of Malaysia-China Business Council besides holding the portfolio of a special envoy.
Dato’ Seri Mustapa said in a briefing to Chinese newspaper editors that he was happy to see that Tan Sri Ong had contributed to the successful implementation of QIP, adding that “he worked very hard in promoting this iconic project and has given our Ministry a big help.”
QIP is progressing well. The lead investor, the Rimbunan Hijau Group, is expected to pump in a potential RM7 billion investment there which will provide employment opportunity for 5000 employees.
On bilateral trade, the Minister said the growth in trade this year was expected to be about the same as last year at 4 per cent. It is projected that the first half year’s growth would be the same as last year’s but there would be better performance in the second half year.
Dato’ Sri Mustapa said both China and Singapore were Malaysia’s important trade partners. Trade with Asian and Asean countries would assume a more important role in the face of a slow-down in the US and European economies.
He noted that Singapore was especially important to Malaysia, adding that “we are closely observing Singapore’s economic development,”
Asked whether the frequent demonstrations and rallies would affect the confidence of foreign investors, the Minister replied that such things were commonplace in the US and Europe.
“As a democratic country, we cannot have 100 percent consensus. What’s importance is that foreign investors are following closely our transformation programmes and they know that we are in the process of transforming and I believe that they would not be influenced (by the demonstrations and rallies).”
The citizens aspire changes and the Government has also committed to make changes in politics,economy and administration, he said. “There bounds to be dissenting voice in a democratic system. It is impossible to have a 100 per cent consensus.”
SOURCE: China Press.
(Translated by Hoo Ban Khee)