Wednesday, 11 January 2017

(The Star) Ong: Chinese investments a boost for local economy

PETALING JAYA: Chinese investments in Malaysia should not be viewed negatively as facts and figures showed that they are a catalyst of growth for the local economy.
Malaysia-China Business Council (MCBC) chairman Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting said significant investments in development projects would not have seen the light of day if not for the commitment from the rising global economic power.
These include the Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park, the upcoming Malacca port project and the Malaysian campus of Xiamen University.
“The Chinese giant corporations, be it private or state-owned, are strategic investors who always have their long-term vision in mind in order to ensure that their investments yield positive results.
“They will not want to end up in controversy which could jeopardise the capital they have put in,” Ong said.
Instead of seeing them as a threat to business survival and employment opportunities, the multiracial Malaysian business communities have been receiving the Chinese investors as strategic partners, Ong explained.
An example of such partnership is the Kuantan Port Consortium Sdn Bhd, which is jointly owned by public-listed IJM Corporation Bhd and Beibu Gulf Holding (Hong Kong) Co Ltd on a 60:40 basis, with the Malaysian Government having a special rights share.
“As of Dec 31, 2015, a total of 191 manufacturing projects with participation from China were implemented with investments amounting to US$1.76bil (RM7.88bil), creating 20,587 jobs in the country,” Ong said.
On the digital economy front, the heads of three Chinese tech giants – Alibaba, Huawei and Tencent – have paid personal attention to Malaysia ahead of the launch of a digital-free trade zone (FTZ) in March, he said.
“The digital-FTZ will contribute to the economic performance of the country. Cross-border e-commerce, for instance, can be a successful and effective platform for Malaysian products to be accessible by the huge Chinese market through easy payment and logistics arrangements,” Ong said.
Ong pointed out that an important factor that should not be overlooked is that the investment is not a one-way path.
“In reciprocation, the Chinese Government has also been facilitating Malaysian projects in China, including the China-Malaysia Qinzhou Industrial Park, UMW projects on oil and gas pipe manufacturing and industrial business, LBS Group’s Zhuhai International Circuit, and the Genting Resort Secret Garden at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games site.
“Sime Darby also has a list of projects, such as the development of Weifang Port in Shandong into a halal hub for Malaysian products to enter China, and an automobile dealership for established brands such as BMW and Caterpillar heavy equipment.
“Other notable Malaysian investors are Perfect (China) Co Ltd and Khazanah in the healthcare industry and e-commerce. All these Malaysian companies are performing well in the Chinese market,” he said.

Ong reiterated that China has been Malaysia’s largest trading partner for seven consecutive years, while Malaysia is China’s eighth largest trading partner globally and its largest trading partner among Asean countries.