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Qinzhou Industrial Park an iconic Malaysia-China Project, says PM


NANNING, Oct 21 2011 (Bernama) — Malaysia and China have agreed to make the construction of the Qinzhou Industrial Park an iconic project, reflecting the growing cooperation between the two countries.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the industrial park can also be a landmark to the ability of Malaysian companies to undertake large scale industrial projects.

“It is hoped that discussions on the industrial park can be finalised in the near future, ” he added.

He was speaking at a media conference after witnessing the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the Qinzhou Industrial Park with his Chinese counterpart, Wen Jianbao.

Najib’s two-day working visit to China was at the invitation of Wen, with Malaysia having been made the Country of Honour at the CAEXPO 2011 in Nanning this year.

He said the industrial park project was strategic, given its proximity to Asean countries and Hainan Port, with the latter being a potentially big investment by China.

He also that the project was still in the preliminary stage, and multinational timber firm, Rimbunan Hijau Group, to be the main developer of the industrial park, as it had strong capital and wide network in China.

“Rimbunan Hijau will invite a number of other companies to jointly develop the project,” he added.

Meanwhile, as an additional support to foster trade and investment between Malaysia and China alongside the Qinzhou Industrial Park, Najib also announced the appointment of the chairman of the Malaysia-China Business Council, Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting, as the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to China.

The industrial park, on an area of 55 sq km, will be developed in three phases and will take 15 years to complete. The first phase of 15 sq km will be ready in five years.

A port town near the area was completed in 2009.

The project, a 15-minute drive from here, was proposed by the Chinese government at the meeting between Wen and Najib in Kuala Lumpur in April.

Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, who together with Ka Ting Thursday paid a visit to the industrial park, said Malaysia had been offered a 49 per cent interest in it.

In another development, Najib said he had taken the opportunity to discuss with Wen, China’s role in the context of Asean and East Asia and the overlapping claims in the South China Sea.

He said, China had repeated the stand that it would act responsibly and will not disturb the peace in the South China Sea.

“China will find a solution through negotiations.

“Malaysia will accept this principle and we hope that the area will not give rise to tension among countries which have an interest in the South China Sea,” he added.

He also said that while his visit was short, it was nevertheless productive.

Najib said he also took the opportunity to discuss with the Chinese Premier, the import ban on bird’s nest to China as it had a high nitrite content.

“If the restriction is continued, it will cripple a huge industry in Malaysia, involving the participation of more than 50,000 entrepreneurs, including Bumiputeras, mostly in the rural areas.

“I appealed for a quick solution to enable us to continue to export the bird’s nest to China,” he added, while stating that Malaysia can follow the practical specifications they impose.

The Chinese Prime Minister said he agreed and realised how important the industry was to Malaysia, and that China and Malaysia could find a solution to the matter.

In this regard, Najib said he has decided that Malaysia’s Minister of Health visit China soon to discuss and resolve the matter quickly.

On relations between Malaysia and China, the Prime Minister said it was on a strong track and had prospects to be expanded in all spheres.

“In the six months of this year, trade between Malaysia and China rose 20 per cent compared to the same period of 2010.

“Although investments by Malaysian companies to China far exceeded that from China to Malaysia, (investment by Chinese companies in Malaysia) increased in 2010, with a total of 121 projects worth about US$250 million.

“To date, a total of 120 (Chinese companies), are operating in Malaysia in the manufacturing, services, electronics, chemicals and automotive sectors,” he added.

Najib said he was impressed with the ability of Chinese companies to obtain open tenders at the international level in electricity power generation, railways and communications.

He hoped the Chinese companies will make Malaysia the regional hub for their respective businesses.

Najib’s visit to the CAEXPO 2011 this year gave Malaysian leaders an opportunity to have a round-table dialogue with China’s corporate leaders.

The dialogue was a special expo activity to attract Chinese investors to Malaysia and they were interested in developments in Malaysia.

Through the dialogue, Najib said he found that Chinese corporate leaders were very keen to invest in Malaysia.


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