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Win-win in Sino-Malaysian cooperation

  • Whether Najib's visit could translate to more investments and cooperation from China has become the center of public attention.

Sin Chew Daily

Prime minster Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is on a five-day official visit to China, meeting Chinese president Xi Jinping, premier Li Keqiang, Alibaba chairman Jack Ma, and attending the Belt and Road Forum.

Whether the PM's visit could translate to more investments and cooperation from China has become the center of public attention.

Several agreements and memorandums of understanding will be signed with the Chinese counterparts during the visit, including a memorandum of understanding between both governments on transport equipment cooperation, another MOU between the agriculture ministry and China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, and a cooperation framework agreement between Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL) and China Communications Construction Co Ltd, among others.

The close cooperation between the two countries is set to further stimulate economic development to bring about a win-win situation for both.

In another development, owing to the market shock pursuant to the collapse of Bandar Malaysia's share sale agreement, it remains to be seen whether the government will be seeking another Chinese company to take over the project.

Wanda Group has expressed its interest in investing in Bandar Malaysia, and once this is materialized, an immense sum of investment fund will flow into Malaysia. However, no substantial agreement has so far been achieved or any form of contract signed between the two sides.

It was previously rumored that Bandar Malaysia's sale collapse was due to the Chinese investor's failure to secure Beijing's approval to take part in Bandar Malaysia development project. PM Najib nevertheless said after a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang that Beijing had assured to continue supporting Chinese firms with "integrity and financial strength" to invest in Malaysia. This means that it will not be a problem for Chinese companies to invest in Malaysia provided that they meet the requirements.

It could be anticipated that Chinese firms will continue to invest in Malaysia in future. That said, the massive inflow of Chinese funds has also raised the concerns of conservatives in the Malay society.

In view of this, the PM has proposed three requirements to the Chinese authorities that Chinese investors will prioritize the hiring of local contractors, using local raw materials and training or hiring local professionals and general workers to benefit local companies and the Malaysian public.

This move is set to dispel the fears towards Chinese investors while further protecting the interests of Malaysians.

Malaysia should actively cooperate with China, an economic powerhouse and the world's locomotive of growth, to spearhead economic and trade development for mutual benefits.

 

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