PM wants more Chinese investment in Malaysia

JOHOR BARU: Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has called for more trade activities between China and Malaysia as the present investment figures do not reflect their strong relations. 

The Prime Minister said that although China’s global trade last year stood at some US$1.7tril, (RM5.86tril), only 2% involved direct trade with Malaysia. 

In terms of investments, he said Malaysia had about US$320mil (RM1.1bil) worth of direct investments in China but received less than US$30mil (RM103.5mil) in return. 

“Given our strong and long-serving diplomatic ties, I believe that it is only natural for Malaysia and China to enhance existing trade, business and investment cooperation.

Strong ties: Abdullah, joint chairman of the Malaysia-China Business Council Tun Musa Hitam (centre) and Yu Ping leaving the convention centre after the opening of the business forum in Johor Baru.

“I hope, as great friends, we will have more trade both ways,” he said when opening the Malaysia-China Business Forum at the Persada Johor International Convention Centre here yesterday. 

Abdullah said China was in a solid position to increase its overseas investment, as the country was the world’s fourth-largest economy with a GDP of about US$2.7tril (RM9.31tril). 

The Prime Minister, who welcomed Chinese investors to the Iskandar Development Region (IDR), said successful investments in international markets were a new source of growth for corporations and entrepreneurs that were previously confined to the domestic economy. 

Abdullah added that Chinese corporations were well positioned to take advantage of the many trade and investment opportunities materialising in the Asean region. 

“As we speak, arrangements are being made to fully implement the Asean-China Free Trade Area,” he said, adding that Malaysia was doing all it could to position itself as a premier investment destination within the Asean region. 

China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) vice-chairman Yu Ping said Malaysia was their major partner in the Asean region. 

He said Chinese entrepreneurs were confident that bilateral trade between the two countries would reach US$50bil (RM172.5bil) by 2010. Last year, bilateral trade between the two countries recorded a new high of US$37bil (RM127.6bil). 

Abdullah revealed that there was specific request from Chinese businessmen for the IDR to be promoted in China.  


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