Wee Ka Siong: Hire locals, buy local goods, no worry of funds from China snatching rice bowl

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(Petaling Jaya 8 Mac 2018) Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong said Malaysia does not need to worry about investment made by corporations from China in Malaysia would affect the livelihood of the locals. Investments made in Malaysia would involve hiring locals and purchases made in local market which would benefit local economy.

In witnessing the signing of memorandum of understanding between Malaysia Guangdong Chamber of Investment Promotion (MGCIP) and Guangdong People Foreign Friendly Association, Wee said when Chinese corporations invest in Malaysia, it would be impossible for those companies to hire Chinese nationals only. These companies would hire locals and it would be impossible to only import from China as this would be too expensive and time consuming.

Chinese investment benefits 170 sub-sectors

“Investment from China will help to stimulate our economy. They invest in projects in Malaysia and the investment can benefit up to 170 sub-sectors.”

He said, since the launching of the Belt and Road initiative, bilateral trade between Malaysia and China have accumulated to RM 1.14 trillion from 2013 to November in 2017. Compare with sum of RM753.1 billion five years ago, trade volume has grown by 52.4%.

“At the same time, China imports more than RM10 billion worth of goods from Malaysia each month. This indicates Malaysian goods have huge potential in Chinese market.”

In manufacturing sector, he said China is the largest source of foreign direct investment in the sector. China participated in a total of 33 manufacturing projects in 2016 with a total investment of RM4.8 billion.

“The infrastructure of these projects included those where Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib who led a delegation to visit China in 2016 and achieved a fruitful negotiation with Chinese president Xi Jinping and premier Li Keqiang by signing more than RM140billion of investment for a new round of investment. This has also shaped a new fundamental of trade between the two countries.”

He said Najib, who was invited to attend the “Belt and Road” International Co-operation Summit in May 2017, visited China again. He met Jack Ma and Wang Jianlin in Hangzhou and Beijing respectively. Najib also witnessed the signing of 11 sets of memorandum of understanding between government link corporations and private corporations of two countries with a total investment value exceeding RM31.26 billion.

“In addition, the Malaysian government and Alibaba Group joined hands to set up Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) with more than 1,900 small and medium corporations based in DFTZ. By 2025, DFTZ would be supporting USD65 billion of logistics where Malaysia would become a regional logistic hub.”

Tan Sri Lim Hock San, president of MGCIP said in his speech that after establishing collaborative ties with Guangdong People Foreign Friendly Association, MGCIP would promote interaction between Malaysians and Chinese in Guangdong province in a more effective manner. More information on activities of both sides would be exchanged.

“At the same time, we will be working with relevant departments of the Malaysian government and the Belt and road development to offer a better platform for corporations from Guangdong coming to invest in Malaysia.”

Those who attended the event included Chen Qiuyan, president of Guangdong People Foreign Friendly Association, president of Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia Tan Sri Pheng Yin Huah and Malaysia-China Friendship Association president Datuk Majid Khan.