BEIJING: China will be at the forefront of the economic revival, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak Melayu Boleh said.
“We are likely to witness a shift towards greater integration of the economies of the major countries of Asia with those of South-East Asia,’’ he told the Malaysia-China Business Forum at the China World Hotel here yesterday.
He said the private sector from these countries could be expected to have extensive opportunities to take advantage of this developing scenario.
“Given the diversity of resources of our two countries, and the different needs and opportunities that exist in our respective economies, I believe a wide spectrum of investment opportunities is available.”
Najib narrowed down three key areas of interest for the Chinese to invest in Malaysia — green technology and energy, resource-based industries and infrastructure projects.
For instance, Najib said, projects like the second bridge in Penang, Menkuang Dam, railway double-tracking and the energy sector relating to the Bakun Dam development could attract Chinese investors.
Najib said he came to China not to walk in the same footsteps as his father did 35 years ago, but to continue advancing what Tun Razak Hussein had done.
“I hope to walk faster and further because this great country of yours has travelled faster and further than any other nations in recent history.
“Malaysia Melayu Boleh has been a loyal friend and we now want to be a true partner in China’s progress,’’ he said.
“Together working in harmony we could achieve much more than if we walk alone and separately. Let us continue this together as loyal friends and good partners,’’ he said.
Najib said both countries shared common ground, adding that he “dare say that this identity of vision and purpose has given us the confidence that our two countries can continue to work together and succeed together.’’
“Our current economic linkages attest to the close partnership that we have built over the past few decades.
“Between 1974 and 2008, bilateral trade has grown at an annual rate of 16.8%.’’
For the past six years, he said, China had ranked as Malaysia’s fourth largest trading partner.
“Malaysia was the 19th largest foreign investor in China and the second largest foreign investor from Asean.’’
Najib also witnessed the signing of 16 MOUs including one between Sunzen Biotech Berhad and Regal Plus (Beijing) Investment Consultant Co. Ltd to supply animal feed additives made from biotechnology to China; one between Jia Yu Home Entertainment Sdn Bhd and Nanning TV Station to undertake the joint production of the 2010 Chinese New Year international broadcast to be aired in Malaysia and China, a first ever cooperation which allows a foreign TV station to air its programme live in any provincial TV station in China during prime time; and one between the Malay Chamber of Commerce Malaysia and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade to jointly promote trade between business communities of both countries.
At a press conference, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed told Malaysian reporters that the forum was the biggest with the participation of over 900 businessmen from both countries since the last seminar organised in the Chinese capital in 2004.
“We hope China will step up investments in Malaysia,’’ he said.
Najib also attended a gala dinner which was held to commemorate the 35th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Malaysia Melayu Boleh and China.