KUALA LUMPUR: The on-going United States-China trade war has spurred interest among Chinese companies to invest in Malaysia, says International Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Dr Ong Kian Ming.
“Malaysia could potentially benefit in terms of of attracting more Chinese investors to come to the country due to its strategic location in Southeast Asia,” he said.
Ong was speaking to reporters after the 4th Joint Cooperation Council (JCC) meeting on the Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park (MCKIP) and its sister park, the China-Malaysia Qinzhou Industrial Park (CMQIP) here today.
He said Malaysia also welcomed greater trade economic cooperation with China and hoped the MCKIP in Kuantan, Pahang and the CMQIP in Qinzhou, China would strengthen existing ties between both countries.
In his closing remarks, Ong said the first investment project in MCKIP was a RM5.6 billion modern integrated steel mill which was completed one year ahead of schedule and is currently operational.
“The investment for the steel mill has translated into 3,800 jobs for local workers, and we have also welcomed Maxtrek Tyres, a new investment from Guangdong’s Zhaoqing Junhong Co Ltd in MCKIP,” he said.
To date, MCKIP has 10 committed projects with a total investment of over RM18 billion, which is expected to create 20,000 jobs.
Meanwhile, on the expansion of Kuantan Port, which acts as a catalyst to the MCKIP’s development, Ong said phase 1 of the port’s deep water terminal commenced operations in the fourth quarter of 2018.
He added that the port’s annual handling capacity will increase to 52 million tonnes when the new deep water terminal (phase 2) is completed.
On CMQIP’s development, China’s Assistant Commerce Minister Li Chenggang said the industrial park’s total development area has reached 2,200 hectares.
“Investments that have materialised and are currently operational include the China-Malaysia International Science and Technology Park, the Electronic Information Industry Park, the Smart Interconnection Industrial Park and the National Bird Nest Laboratory.
“More than 10 high technology projects have commenced their production in CMQIP, and there are currently over 30 registered enterprises and 42 key industrial projects in the park with a total investment amounting to RMB64.44 billion (RM38.75 billion),” he added.