Sunday, 25 June 2017

(The Star) ‘Support Belt and Road initiative’

KUALA LUMPUR: Business asso­ciations and commerce chambers have been urged to support the Belt and Road initiative to reap the many benefits from it, says Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

The MCA president said Malaysia has a lot to gain from the collaboration with China in terms of port alliance and railway technology.

“They have a lot of incubators, manpower training and technical exchange especially in train servi­ces.

“Malaysia will emerge as a strong nation in railway technology.

“We have engaged China to build our southern track from Gemas to Johor Baru and the East Coast Rail Line from Kuala Lumpur to Kelan­tan.

“We will need a lot of railway technicians and engineers, as well as manufacturing technologies,” Liow said after the Malaysia-Xiamen Chamber of Commerce (MXCC) installation ceremony yesterday.

Liow, who is Transport Minister, said with this collaboration, Malaysia will be far ahead compared to other countries.

He also pointed out that China has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Interna­tional Trade and Industry Ministry to take the lead as the secretariat for the Belt and Road initiative.

Liow said other ministries will give their support, including his ministry which will focus on infrastructure development.

The MXCC comprised mostly Xiamen investors.

Its newly sworn-in president is Zheng Pei Zhi while his deputy is Datuk Gan Yeew Tian.

In an earlier event, Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said relations between Malaysia and China would be further enhanced through the official launching of MXCC.

Nazri added that he expected closer ties in trade, tourism and cultural exchange between both countries.

“Xiamen is one of Malaysia’s top 10 trading partners in China with two-way trade totalling RM11.53bil in 2015.

“Last year, bilateral trade between Malaysia and Fujian pro­vince (in which Xiamen is located) was RM13.89bil.

“Both Malaysia and Fujian are important hubs in China’s 21st Cen­tury Maritime Silk Road,” Nazri said.