The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) successfully organised the ‘Malaysia-China Business Forum: New Normal, New Opportunities’ on 18 November 2020, in collaboration with the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products (CCCME) and China Construction Bank (CCB). The guests of honour for the event included YB Datuk Lim Ban Hong, Deputy Minister of MITI; Hon. Mr. Li Chenggang, Assistant Minister, Ministry of Commerce, China; H.E. Raja Dato’ Nurshirwan Zainal Abidin, Ambassador of Malaysia to the People’s Republic of China; YBhg. Dato’ Azman Mahmud, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MIDA and Mr. Felix Feng, CEO of China Construction Bank, Malaysia.
The event was conducted in a hybrid format by combining online broadcast and on-site panel discussion in the three first-tier cities in China, namely Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. It was successfully attended by 75 China companies on-site in China and received more than 2,600 online participation and viewers from the China and Malaysia business communities.
The event was a timely platform to update China stakeholders on Malaysia’s business environment and opportunities. Representatives from existing Chinese companies in Malaysia also shared their success stories and experiences in leveraging Malaysia as their global operations hub.
YB Datuk Lim Ban Hong, in his keynote address, commented on the need for mutually beneficial and sustainable growth partnerships. It is not only between China and Malaysia but also beyond to enable dynamic economic development, “The signing of the historic Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement is significant toward realising a free and open international economic order. It reflects our strong commitment to international trade, connectivity, rule-based multilateral trading systems and enhancing the free flow of trade and investments. Malaysia is also optimistic that RCEP can be used as one of the economic recovery tools against COVID-19. The implementation of this agreement will help to ensure the opening of markets as well as an uninterrupted supply chain, including the establishment of greater trade integration and diversifying of production networks with China.”
Malaysia continues to be a competitive location for manufacturing projects with participation from China. In the first nine months of 2020, a total of 740 manufacturing projects with investments valued at RM65.3 billion were approved. Of these, China recorded a total of RM16.8 billion (25.7%) in 58 projects.
Speaking on the investment opportunities in Malaysia, YBhg. Dato’ Azman Mahmud remarked, “The Government is strengthening Malaysia’s investment environment by introducing multiple economic stimulus plans and incentive measures to withstand the challenges brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic. We welcome Chinese companies to invest in Malaysia and expand our bilateral trade and investment, particularly high technology, knowledge and capital intensive, high value-added companies from China with a speciality in automated machines and robotics; aerospace and aeronautical; biopharma and medical devices; advanced information technology; new materials; and new energy vehicles and equipment. It will undoubtedly be instrumental in pushing our economic reformation despite the pandemic.”
China has remained among Malaysia’s largest trading partner for 11 continuous years, also representing the country’s top foreign direct investment source for four (4) consecutive years. Going forward, Malaysia, as part of the Belt and Road Initiative, looks to strengthen regional connectivity with China to complement each other’s advantages and expand bilateral trade and investment. China-Malaysia trade relation will have a further step in the post-COVID era.