Wednesday, 21 June 2017

(The Star) Lam: China and Malaysia can benefit from strong bilateral ties

RAUB: Strong bilateral ties and the absence of language, social and cultural barriers are an advantage for Malaysia to penetrate deeper into the China market, said Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) deputy president Tan Sri Lam Kam Sang.

“Actually, our ties started more than 550 years ago during the Malacca Sultanate.

“In 1974, Malaysia’s second premier officially established diplomatic ties during his maiden visit to China.

“Over the years, our ties grew stronger through government to government efforts,” he said.

Lam, who is also Pahang MCA deputy chairman and Raub MCA division chief, represented Malaysia’s business fraternity at the 15th Asean Overseas Chinese Entrepreneurs Conference in China recently.

He was also given a chance to address hundreds of Chinese businessmen for the first time on stage despite having attended many previous conferences in the mainland.

“This year marks the 43rd year of Malaysia-China diplomatic relations and we look forward to many more fruitful years ahead.

“With many programmes in place such as the One Belt and Road initiative, it will definitely benefit both countries in the long run in terms of economic growth and prosperity,” he said.

Lam described it as a “win-win situation” for businessmen in both countries, pointing out that many Chinese were coming in to invest and vice versa.

“We must continue to work hard to forge even closer ties,” he said, adding that ACCCIM, with over 17 organisations under its umbrella and comprising some 100,000 businessmen in various businesses, would be paving the way.

Lam said since Malaysia’s strong support and active participation in One Belt and Road initiative, many Chinese businessmen were coming in to pay the country a visit and this further helped to strengthen friendship and open up opportunities.

“We welcome them, both from big or small provinces, so that we can share information and knowledge and learn from one another.

“Many of our local companies also took part in seminars, exhibitions and expos in China to expand and study the market,” he said.

Citing himself, Lam said he had visited two provinces early this year and three others last year, in addition to meeting up with 60 Chinese reprensentatives from various sectors.

As a result, several memorandums of understanding (MoU) were signed.

On China’s ambassador to Malaysia, Dr Huang Huikang, Lam said he was very close to the people.

He also highlighted Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s recent visit to China, which saw the signing of MoUs and pledged investments worth billions of ringgit.

“Many Chinese firms have also pledged to come in with some having invested in projects around Johor, Pahang, Perak, Melaka and Sarawak.

“Proton has also formed a partnership with China’s Geely Group for mutual benefit,” he said.

Lam added that Bank Negara had projected a gross domestic product growth of between 4.3% and 4.8% this year, and that the country was moving away from dependence on natural resources.